When it comes to styling your reception tables, there’s a lot to think about: classic white linen or a hue to match your flowers? Towering floral centrepieces or petite blooms? Calligraphied menus? Flickering candles? Gold charger plates? Gifts? But whilst it’s easy to get caught up in the look and design of your tablescapes, there’s another aspect that’s just as important (and fun!) to think about – the names. Because whilst some couples like to keep things low-key and minimalist by simply using numbers (and there are plenty of stylish ways to do this), if you and your partner are looking to stamp your personalities on every part of your day, then table names are a great place to start. After all, the possibilities are endless – because your inspiration comes from everything you both love and everything that makes you – and your relationship – unique. So, from the sweet to the silly, here are some ideas to get you thinking…
1. Special dates
You first locked eyes across a crowded bar on November 16? You got the keys to your flat on June 20? December 31 brought fireworks and a diamond ring? Not all your guests will know these details – so what better way to share the key moments in your love story?
2. Famous duos
From Romeo & Juliet to Kim & Kanye, there are a gazillion romantic couples to choose from. But why stop there? You can also think about musical partnerships you love (Lennon & McCartney? Taylor Swift & Zayn?), TV couples (Lady Mary & Matthew, Monica & Chandler) or give your guests some lols with everyday double acts such as Netflix & Chill (tip: don’t sit your gran on that one…).
3. Book, movie or song titles
Now this is a fun one – and once you’ve got a shortlist of the films and tunes you love (we suggest choosing five each, to nip any squabbles in the bud), you also get to choose whether to just to use the names in chic print or calligraphy, or to get crafty by sourcing the actual merchandise: you can frame album covers, use vinyl LPs, or place paperbacks in the middle of your centerpiece flowers. (This Brides writer used kitsch retro Mills & Boon novels, FYI!)
4. Your vows
Make sure the sentiment of your vows is felt throughout the day by including them as table names. Whether you’ve written your own promises or kept things traditional, picking out words or phrases (this can be as simple as ‘LOVE’, ‘CHERISH’ and ‘TO HAVE AND TO HOLD’) reminds your guests that it’s not just about the party and Prosecco!
5. Favourite places
Maybe you’ve travelled a lot together – cue a world of table names from LA to Laos. Alternatively, you could go for streets or towns where you’ve both lived (separately and together), your go-to UK escapes, favourite festivals or even beloved pubs or restaurants – anywhere you’ve made memories.
6. Things you love
Yes, we know this is a pretty vague category, but that’s because there are no rules! Obsessed with fashion? Have tables from Alaïa to Zac Posen. Your other half is a tennis nut? Name your tables after the champs. Constellations, cocktails, characters from Game of Thrones… if it means something to you, share it with your guests!
A picture speaks a thousand words – so why not swap written names for your favourite photos? The two of you together, treasured family snaps, pictures of your pets or even that snap of you goofing around in that ridiculous outfit when you were 12… your guests will love them (and they’ll be great talking points for ice-breakers, too!).
8. Quotes or lyrics
Whether you take inspo from Shakespeare, a favourite love song or Family Guy, you’re sure to find words that nail the tone you’re after – emotional, wise or hilarious, it’s up to you!
Want to fill your tables with interesting ‘things’ rather than words? Then display easily identifiable items as table names/centrepieces. Here are a few cool and quirky ideas we like: retro board games (these also double up as entertainment for tipsy guests later on – Hungry Hippos, anyone?); piles of your favourite glossy magazines (we’d LOVE your copies of Brides to be part of your decor!); framed art prints, fun animal sculptures or oversized snow globes (so cute for a winter wedding).