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Monday, September 27, 2010

A Beginner’s Guide to Linens

You have chosen your reception venue…and although you love it, you want to make the look of your reception all your own. One tool that can be used to transform a room is linens. This article will educate you on the basics of linens, so you can be ready to choose the perfect accessories for your venue!

Tablecloths are the foundation of your linen choices, and will set the background palate for the other items you choose. Make sure you know the correct table size so you can order the right size tablecloths. For an elegant look, you want your tablecloths to be floor length (guests should not see the legs of your tables).

Napkins add color to the foundation you’ve laid with your tablecloths, and are a must for a formal setting. They can be folded in a variety of ways, or can be placed neatly inside of a beverage glass or coffee cup. Check out this website that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to fold napkins in a number of different ways. http://www.napkinfoldingguide.com

An overlay is another linen accessory that is placed on top of a tablecloth (just as the name implies, it ‘lays over’ a tablecloth). An overlay can add an additional dimension of color to your table.

A runner is another accessory that is placed on top of a tablecloth, but it is generally long and rectangular in shape. It ‘runs’ from one end of a table to another. These are ideal if you are using long tables instead of round ones for your reception.

Chair Covers
Chair covers can turn plain banquet chairs into elegant seating for your guests! When ordering your covers, be sure you know what kind of chairs will be used in your venue (banquet chair, folding chair, etc), so that you order the right size. Nothing is worse than having chair covers that are too short!

A great option that I’ve seen used a lot lately is the pillowcase chair cover (shown above). They slip around a chair, very similar to the way a pillow is placed in a pillowcase. It’s a great look!

Sashes are an accessory that accompany chair covers, and can be coordinated with your napkins, overlays or runners. There are countless ways to tie sashes (YouTube has several videos that give you detailed instructions on tying sashes).

Chair Sleeves
A chair sleeve is an accessory that is slipped over the back of a chair (on top of your chair cover) and can be used instead of a sash. Just like the sash, it can be coordinated with your napkins, runners or overlays.

What types of material are available?
Your choices are almost endless! You can go with simple, solid linen, or you can choose organza, satin, velvet, sheers, shag, taffeta, or lace. Before you make a decision, it’s best to get a swatch of what you are considering so you can get a feel for the texture of the material.

Your Planning Assignment
Do your homework! Again I suggest ordering swatches of items you are considering. Or, if there is a reputable linen company in your area, make an appointment to see what they have to offer.

Happy Planning!

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