When it comes to designing the wedding day, it can often be difficult for brides to communicate exactly what they are envisioning. Inspiration photos help a great deal, but unless you have an exact picture that you are able to replicate, we highly recommend doing a wedding reception table mockup as a part of the design process. This is especially important if wedding design is a top priority for you or if you find that you are indecisive and need help with visualization. You may find that you don’t love the look of those chargers with that linen, or that rental flatware really would take your tablescape design to the next level, or that tall centerpieces would better complement the design of the room after all. Whatever the case may be, a reception table mockup will allow you to see all of the decor elements together so you can make changes as needed (which means no surprises on the wedding day!). So what is the best way to go about scheduling your mockup? We have included our best tips for you below!

1) Timing – We recommend scheduling your reception table mockup 2-3 months prior to your wedding date, if your florist and rental vendors are confirmed by then. Your planner and vendors will likely need 2-3 weeks notice, but you may need to be flexible based on their availability. If you are planning to do a menu tasting and your caterer is providing some or all of your table settings, try to coordinate your mockup date on the same day as your tasting (if possible), to tackle two birds with one stone!

2) Florals – If your florist does not include a complimentary sample centerpiece, consider investing in one. Floral arrangements make a dramatic impact on your tablescape design and will help you finalize your decisions. Seeing a sample in person will also ensure that your centerpieces will be exactly as you are envisioning them to be. Please keep in mind, however, that if certain flowers are affected by unforeseen weather conditions or a circumstance outside of your florist’s control, your florist may need to determine if a substitution similar to that floral variety is necessary. 

3) Location and Date – If possible, schedule your tablescape mockup in the same room or space where your reception will be held. This will help you see if your centerpiece and table decor complement the aesthetics of the reception space. Coordinate a date with the venue so you can confirm the mockup date and time with your coordinator and other vendors. If the venue is providing the catering and table settings for the wedding, request for the venue to provide all necessary items for the mockup (china, flatware, glassware, banquet table, chairs, etc.), ideally for 6-8 place settings—even a single place setting is helpful, to give you an idea of how everything will look.

4) Rentals – If you are going through an outside rental company for specialty items, place an order to see these rentals at your mockup (full-length linens, napkin samples, chargers, rental chairs, rental flatware and glassware, etc.). If the list is not extensive, you may be able to pick these items up from the rental company’s warehouse to avoid a delivery fee.

A mockup may seem like a lot to coordinate, or it might be an area you are willing to cut (if there are expenses involved), but we find that it is a crucial part of the design process and gives brides (and grooms!) a peace of mind knowing that everything is in line with their wedding planning dreams. We absolutely love event design, which is why we offer planning packages that also include design services to help inspire you and keep track of all of your design details. Click HERE for more details! 

Photographer – Lin & Jirsa | Contact: contact@linandjirsa.com