The Tablecloth Size Chart You Need While Planning Your Wedding
Wedding planning: it’s one of the most exciting times of your life. Chances are you’ve spent years thinking about exactly how you want your big day to look, from the dress and location down to the floral arrangements, menu, and centerpieces. There are so many details that go into planning and designing the perfect wedding for yourself and your groom as well as your guests, and there are a number of less obvious but equally important elements that will require your attention. You want people to eat, drink, and be merry at your wedding, and that requires figuring out additional details like centerpieces, chairs, and – yes – tablecloth sizes.
Figuring out tablecloth sizes for your wedding reception may not necessarily be at the top of your checklist, but it’s important to get it right. Pick a size that’s too big for your tables and the tablecloth may drag on the floor, creating an eyesore (and a potential tripping hazard as guests get up to hit the dance floor or grab another glass of champagne). Pick a size that’s too small, and you’ll have tablecloths that dangle at an awkward length, which can also be an eyesore. But if you’re not an interior designer or professional wedding planner, how are you going to figure out what size tablecloths you need for your big day? Where do you even get started? Don’t worry – you don’t have to struggle through it alone or add additional stress to an already overflowing plate.
Here’s an easy and useful guide to help you figure out how to pick the right tablecloth size for your wedding reception.
Why Tablecloth Sizes Matter
Think you can phone it in on the tablecloth sizes and nobody will notice? Think again. Tablecloths are one of those wedding planning details that most people never think about – unless you get it wrong. In addition to looking bad and creating a tripping risk, tablecloths that are too long and drag on the floor will get dirty, stained, and possibly even torn. So you might find yourself on the hook for additional cleaning or repair fees once the big day is over. If you go too small with the tablecloth, on the other hand, you’ll leave parts of the table exposed and run the risk of damaging the look of your big day – which might also require additional photo retouching to edit out table legs and feet.
How to Figure Out What Size Tablecloth to Order for Your Wedding
Chances are that most of your thought and effort into picking out the tablecloths for your wedding reception went into the obvious factors: pattern, color, fabric type (if that). Tablecloths usually don’t get as much attention as their smaller but equally important counterparts – the napkins – but as we’ve already established, they can make or break your wedding reception’s aesthetic and decor.
But figuring out how to choose the right tablecloth size is not rocket science, nor does it require an advanced design degree or professional wedding planner.
Tablecloth Shopping Made Easy
Like everything else on your wedding planning to-do list, the key to shopping for the right tablecloths is to get organized and break the task down into small and easy to digest chunks. With a little measuring and calculations beforehand (don’t worry, you’re not writing advanced algorithms here), you’ll be ready to shop for tablecloths for your reception like a poised and well prepared boss.
First things first: know thy table
A table is a table right? How many variables can there be? Well aside from the obvious elements of size and shape, there are actually a few things you’ll need to know and keep in mind when calculating what size tablecloth you will need.
How to calculate tabletop dimensions
Calculating the table dimensions is pretty straightforward, but getting an accurate measurement can be tricky depending on the size and shape of the table (more on table shape in a minute). You will need to know the width and length, which can obviously range from small and intimate cocktail lounge style tabletops, to long banquet hall or picnic table dimensions. But you don’t have to spread the tape measure from end to end of each table in order to get an accurate measurement for the tablecloth. The easiest way to get the length and width measurements is to start at the center of the table, and then multiply the measurements by two.
Don’t forget “the drop”
The drop is the measurement that will determine how far the tablecloth will hang over the tabletop. This will vary depending on your personal tastes and preferences, but keep in mind the too long and/or too short dilemma. You don’t want your guests’ loafers and stilettos getting caught on a tablecloth that’s hanging on the floor, which will also look sloppy and drape over your guests’ laps.
In addition, you’ll want to consider how the tablecloth will look and feel when the guests are seated and the chairs are tucked into the table. On the flip side, a drop that’s too short will look out of proportion, and expose a lot of knees and table legs.
Crunch the numbers
Once you’ve figured out the essential measurements (width, length, and drop), you can calculate your table size. For a standard rectangular table, start by multiplying the drop by two (to account for both sides of the table). Next add the length of the table to determine your tablecloth size. At Linen Hero, we recommend sizing your linens to touch the floor with minimal pooling.
Working your way around a round table
If your wedding reception has round tables, don’t panic! You will have to tweak the formula a little bit to account for the shape, but just like a rectangular shaped table, you simply account for the desired drop, and measure from the center of the table outward, with a few adjustments. The method to calculate the drop is the same; take your desired drop and multiple by two, then add that to the table’s diameter for the tablecloth size.
Standard Tablecloth Sizes
Looking for a cheat sheet? Avoid the math with our handy Linen Sizing Chart
Recommended Sizes for Standard Tables:
Short 30″ Round – 90″ Round Linen
Tall 30″ Round – 120″ Round Linen
Short 36″ Round – 108″ Round Linen
Tall 36″ Round – 120″ Round Linen
48″ Round – 108″ Round Linen
60″ Round – 120″ Round Linen
66″ Round – 132″ Round Linen
72″ Round – 132″ Round Linen
6′ x 2.5′ Rectangular – 90″ x 132″ Linen
8′ x 2.5′ Rectangular – 90″ x 156″ Linen
(For oval shaped tables, follow the same measurement guidelines as rectangular tables.)
Other Factors to Consider When Shopping for Tablecloths for Your Wedding
So now that we’ve established that size matters when selecting a tablecloth for your wedding, there are a few other factors to keep in mind. In many cases, the tablecloths for the reception are just an afterthought – after all they’re just a piece of fabric between the table and the beautiful centerpieces you put so much time, effort, and thought into choosing right? Yes and no.
While it’s true that wedding linens serve more of a practical function than strictly decorative and more sentimental elements like the flowers, crystal ware, and wedding favors, your guests will spend quite a bit of time sitting at their tables, and those tables will figure prominently in the official and unofficial photos of your big day as well.
Your wedding table linens can (and should) be as special as every other aspect that goes into creating the wedding of your dreams. Getting the size just right is the final touch, but some of the other factors that you should consider when picking out your wedding linens include:
- Fabric type
- Wedding theme
Sometimes an understated, solid tablecloth in a neutral color is the way to go, but that isn’t your only option. So don’t be afraid to get creative, and think of the tablecloth as a decorative element in and of itself! It can be as low key or as eye catching as you want it to be! Remember that it’s your big day, so there are no rules as to how you have to go about it.
Avoid the Guessing Game
With so much on your plate already and the millions of details that go into planning the perfect wedding, you may be ready to tear your hair out at the idea of spending any more precious time on something that seems as trivial as table measurements and tablecloth size. It’s understandable. Wedding planning is stressful and time consuming enough, and you have bigger things to worry about, like the dress, the invitations, the cake, the toast, and everything else that goes into making your perfect day.
But as every bride knows and any seasoned wedding planner will confess, the details matter. The wrong tablecloth size can make the difference between an elegant, crisp reception experience to your guests drowning under a sea of excess fabric. In short, you don’t want to spend time and money planning the perfect day, only to have it hijacked by something like the wrong tablecloth size. But don’t worry – tablecloth shopping for your wedding doesn’t have to be a hassle. In fact, we can help you get it right, and have some fun in the process! Contact one of our design heroes today for more information.