Use This Wedding Reception Table Checklist for Stress-Free Styling

March 5, 2023 | kailey

Image by Lina Dambrauskas. See more of this real wedding here.

Trying to nail every decor detail on your wedding day can be quite the undertaking—cue the stress. Between the ceremony, the cocktail hour, and the reception, it’s safe to say your hands are probably getting pretty full. That’s why we put together a handy wedding reception table checklist to ensure no detail gets overlooked. 

From standard decor to traditional place settings, we’ve got you covered with every item you could possibly need (or want) for your reception tables. 

Wedding Reception Table Checklist 

Essential Decor 

During the wedding planning process, it’s easy to get lost in all of the exciting details. That’s why we’re starting our checklist with the essentials. Though these aren’t the most fun elements to sort out, they tend to be statement pieces that play an integral role in your wedding reception. Here are the standard decor pieces you should plan before diving into your decor. 

Image by The Tinsley Co.

Place Setting Details 

Now it’s time to talk about dinnerware essentials. This is an important detail, especially for those planning a formal sit-down meal. 

  • Place setting cards & holders 
  • Charger plates — decorative base plates that sit beneath your dinner dishes 
  • Dinner plates 
  • Salad plates 
  • Flatware — salad fork, dinner fork, steak knife, butter knife, teaspoon, soup spoon, cake fork
  • Glassware — water glass, wine glass, champagne flutes 
  • Napkins & napkin rings
  • Printed menus 


Now that the essentials have been taken care of, it’s time for the real fun to begin—planning your decor. To give your tables a focal point, start with centerpieces. Work with your florist to plan and create arrangements that’ll enhance your overall reception design. This can be done with fresh blooms or even greenery garlands. The possibilities are absolutely endless. 

Are flowers or greenery not part of your vision? Skip them and mix and match different accent pieces to create the ultimate centerpieces. 

Accent Decor 

When centerpieces are taken care of, you can then dress them up with accent decor. These items can be rented, thrifted, or even purchased online at stores like Amazon. Though they tend to be small details, they’ll greatly impact your overall look. Here are a few accent decor ideas that’ll get your creative juices flowing. 

  • Tall or short vases
  • Wine or vintage bottles 
  • Mood lighting — taper candles, tealight candles, lanterns
  • Candlestick holders 
  • Geometric pieces
  • Terrariums
  • Books or book pages 
  • Globes 
  • Fruit
  • Shells
  • Driftwood
  • Wood rounds
  • Antlers 
  • Geodes or crystals

After running through this checklist, every detail regarding your reception tables should be complete. And while you’re one step closer to the big day, there are still a few details that need to be sorted out. One of those important details being the sweetheart table—a two-person set up solely for the newlywed couple. 

If this is something you’re incorporating into your reception design, check out these gorgeous ideas for styling your sweetheart table. From chair styles to decor inspiration, we cover it all.

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One Comment

  1. Awesome post, Nicole. This is the most detailed checklist I have seen so far. It should help a lot of couples.

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