Why Your Wedding Needs Tablecloths and What Your Options Are

Hold it. Wait. Before you go and do something serious like getting yourself married and having a reception, let's talk about your bare naked tables. You know, those things where all your friends and family will be sitting, eating dinner, and celebrating your special day.

First, don't let your tables be bare and naked. YOU wouldn't leave the house like that, would you? No, of course not! You'd dress yourself up, add on your finest jewelry, and, well, put on a show. So why should your tables be any different? Obviously, they shouldn't. They should make a statement. The easiest way to do this? Tablecloths.

The truth is, whether you use tablecloths or not, your reception tables WILL be making a statement. But what kind of statement will they be making? For example, if they are dull, drab, plain, or--GASP--wrinkled, what do these details say about you and your party? Conversely, if they are elegant, lively, immaculate, and (this one is an absolute necessity) cleanly pressed, what do these details say?

Please take a moment to draw your own conclusions.

Okay, sign me up. I'm ready to buy my own tablecloths.

Clearly, not every table NEEDS a tablecloth. For example, you may be betting married in a barn and want a rustic look. But if you're not and if you don't, a tablecloth (and its accessories) can go a long way. Alas, many brides and grooms are concerned about cost, since although the average tablecloth can cost as little as $6, it can cost $12 or more to have them professionally cleaned and steam pressed. So that's $18 per tablecloth, minimum.


Aren't there other options for wrinkle removal?

You could, however, buy your tablecloths and clean and press them yourself. A quick Google search offers a myriad of suggestions. Wash and dry on permanent press. Dry in the dryer along with a damp towel. Hang your tablecloths in the bathroom to steam. Spritz with a mixture of water and vinegar. Hang on a clothesline. Iron or steam one section at a time. Once finished, roll around a large cardboard tube (if you can find one or twenty-five of them). Do five tablecloths a day until done (each cloth should take 30 to 60 minutes to iron or press) and allow at least 6 to 8 hours for getting the remaining wrinkles out on the day of your wedding.

Also, there are crinkle table cloths that are not only beautiful, but also DON'T need ironing. Or scuba cloths that are wrinkle resistant. Both options start around $25 per tablecloth.

Ugh. If this sounds like a lot of work and money, it is. Now, we think the juice is worth the squeeze. Details like tablecloths are important. But there is a lot of time involved. And you CAN'T, absolutely MUSN'T, iron or steam a tablecloth while it's on a wooden table. And, believe it or not, rolling tablecloths can leave them with permanent creases.

Have you thought about renting?

Thankfully, starting at about $15 a piece, tablecloths of most any size, shape, and color can be rented, either from your venue or a third-party, such as Elegant Linens and Rentals or Eventful Rentals. (Some venues may even include them in their rental. For this and other considerations when shopping for a wedding venue, click here.) And whereas this sounds like a lot, it's a small price to pay when you consider 1) how tablecloths change the overall mood of your event, 2) how much time and effort you save because you don't have to clean, press, and store them (before AND after your wedding), and 3) the fact that you can walk away from them when the wedding is over. I mean, who wants eighteen giant turquoise tablecloths shoved in their back closet for the next thirty years?

Not me. I'd rather keep fifteen pairs of shoes back there.