We totally understand that choosing your wedding aesthetic can be super overwhelming. Once you’ve imagined the overall look in your head, the next step is to determine how the details fit into this vision. One thing that can make or break the design of your DC area wedding reception is your choice of linens. Have you ever seen a stunning wedding with boring white cotton linens that come with the reception space? No, probably not! That is because incorporating linens that flow with your design plan is absolutely key. “Where do I start?” you might ask. Have no fear; we’ve got some amazing linen advice and some awesome resources for you via Goodshuffle, our favorite event and party supply rental marketplace. They helped us with some tips and tricks on how to choose wedding day linens.
Starting Out: How do I choose the linens I need/want?
Style/Material: Do you know which material and style will tie your tables into your vision? There are so many linens to choose from: burlap, sequin, textured, pintuck, print are just a few of the options. There are also tons of colors and designs to choose from. If your design plan is pretty mild, choosing a fun print or a textured linen may liven it up a little and draw the eyes of your guests. If you want a little pizzazz but don’t want your guests to feel too overwhelmed, place sequin or bold linens on your ancillary tables like the cake table, gift table, and cocktail tables. These will draw the eye but not take over your reception. When choosing linens, also don’t forget the other items that will lie on top of them. This includes florals, centerpieces, dinnerware, favors – the list goes on and on.
Linens you may not have considered: Maybe you’re having rustic farm tables and don’t want to cover their beauty; consider opting for reception table runners. These can also be added on top of standard linens that come with the venue to add a little color or texture. You could even include wedding chair covers or ribbons and sashes. These small details can play a big role in the overall look of your reception space so try not to forget about them! And napkins – oh napkins! There are so many great choices when it comes to the color, size, print, and even fold of your dinner napkins. Make sure to take these into account when planning out your wedding day linens.
Size Matters: What size and shape do I need for my tables?
Round v Rectangle v Square: Connect with your wedding planner, venue coordinator, and anyone else you want involved in the aesthetic of your wedding day. They should be able to help you decide which table shape works best in your space and meshes with the look and feel of the day. If you’re doing it alone, consider the type of venue you’re working with. Consider square tables if your venue is outside and doesn’t have a ton of special definition. If you have a long space, rectangular banquet tables might be your best bet as they will fill up the space nicely. Circle reception tables are always a wedding favorite and can function well in any space. Don’t forget, you can get your tables from Goodshuffle, too!
Linen Calculator: Take the stress, worry, and (most of all) computing out of the linen planning process. Goodshuffle has a convenient linen calculator and we are absolutely obsessed! This handy dandy tool will let you know just what size tablecloth you need for your particular table shape and guest count.
To Buy or Not To Buy: Should I rent my wedding day linens or purchase them in bulk?
There are a few things you need to consider when deciding whether renting or buying linens is right for you. The following factors are some of the top reasons we would highly suggest renting over buying. Goodshuffle dove into this issue on their Why You Should Rent V Buy For Your Event blog already, but we have some additional thoughts on the matter pertaining to linens specifically.
Setup: The number one reason we think you should rent linens instead of buying them is the setup factor. Oftentimes, if you don’t rent through one of your local wedding vendors (be it the venue, the caterer, or an outside rental company) you are stuck setting each and every linen up. Since you can’t place table linens until tables are popped in your venue, you will probably be stuck doing this on the day of your wedding. Trust us when we say this is NOT something you want to have to worry about. The last thing you want to do that day is place linens on all 15+ tables in your space.
Storage: After your wedding where are you planning on storing the 12 table linens that you purchased for your wedding day? We’re pretty sure you don’t have 12 dining room tables that seat 8-10 people, so odds are you won’t even have much use for one of those linens. “But I can sell them!” you say, which brings us to our next point… CAN you sell them?
Resale Value: Sure, maybe you can sell them. You can list them on all sorts of sites and maybe you’ll get a bite or two from a bride but how much money will you truly make? Will you get back the money you spent on them? Can it up for the time it took to find someone willing to purchase them? Will you be compensated for the space they took up in your home before you passed them off? We’re not so sure about that.
Cleanliness: Now of course you know that after a night of good food and drinks, your linens are going to get a little dirty. Where do you plan on laundering them? Have you included that into your overall budget? Also, don’t forget that those linens you purchased will probably need to be steamed or ironed before your big day so they look great! Don’t forget to factor this timing in on your wedding day. And trust me, as someone who has ironed and steamed table linens for a wedding, it’s no small task!
Color Matching: One issue you might never see coming when purchasing your linens is color matching. If you end up buying your linens online, they may not match everything else that you choose. Sometimes colors look completely different in person; or they might be cut from different swaths of fabric, making them a similar color, but not exactly the same. Or maybe the color won’t match your napkins or table runners perfectly! When you rent, you can avoid these possible problems altogether.
So there you have it, folks. Cut the worry out of your life and check out Goodshuffle for all of your wedding day needs. In fact, Goodshuffle helps you cut more than your linen worries. They offer a one-stop-shop for everything from tables and chairs, to decor and entertainment. For more wedding tricks, check out our wedding tips and advice sections. For inspiration and ideas don’t miss all of the beautiful DC area real weddings we feature weekly!