Vendor Spotlight || Jen Rios Weddings

Remember back when your parents asked you to come set the table before dinner? Having to stop what you were doing to lay out napkins and forks always seemed like such a drag, right?

Now, table setting isn’t what it used to be. Jen Rios of Jen Rios Weddings has all but turned it into an artform. Her expert knowledge and creative touch has transformed head tables into show pieces, and sign-in tables into enchanted first steps toward a wedding. Inspired by her thoughtful approach, we asked Jen to share her insider tips for creating the best table settings for any occasion.

22339257 1664028473669994 265517232196951085 O

Jen Rios WeddingsN Barrett PhotographyR Love Floral

The Laurel: Jen, can we start with the basics? Whether for a head table at an event or dining room table at home — how do you make a fabulous tablescape?

JR: To create a great tablescape you want to first start with the base — the table! Is it a farm table and just needs a runner or will it need a linen? Starting here creates the foundation of your design.

Kee Lavender 0098 Preview

Kari Ellen EventsAllen Tsai PhotographyEverly Alaine FloralsBella Acento

Mackenzie Mauricio Wedding 0146 Preview

Allen Tsai PhotographyEverly Alaine Florals

Next, create your place settings. Maybe it's a simple meal and you just want a charger or for a more formal event, stack and mismatch some china patterns to make it your own. What will really add to the design is the centerpieces. You don't want the table to feel crowded but you do want it to feel lush. Add in some floral arrangements and accent with candles and some coordinating items like fresh fruit for a winter wedding or potted succulents for the summer.

38 Ba 0607 Id112821899 Preview

House of Tales EventsA Sea of Love PhotographyDavid Kimmel DesignLa Tavola Linens

Mackenzie Mauricio Wedding 0462 Preview

Everly Alaine FloralsAllen Tsai PhotographyAlex Leigh Franklin

Finally, the cherry on top is the paper goods. Accent your place settings with placecards. Get creative! If you love to travel use a tiny paper airplane with a seasonal bloom next to it. If you are throwing a spanish style event use a handmade tile with scripted font. The possibilities are endless!

22424571 1664028547003320 9043912234358083127 O

Jen Rios WeddingsN Barrett PhotographyR Love Floral

Jen Rios

Jen Rios WeddingsSomething Pretty FloralPink Champagne Paper Co.Posh Couture Rentals

Dsc 0327 Preview

Love Abides PhotographyKatie Bug FloralHost Club Co

TL: What specialty tables should every bride plan to have at her wedding?

JR: My favorite design feature at a wedding is a head table. It allows us to create a "show piece" for the design and a focal point for guests as they walk into the room. Additional feature areas I love to design are a sign in/welcome table, seating assignment table or area and the bride's cake table. By focusing on these key areas you hone in on the design features instead of trying to do everything everywhere which can get overwhelming (and expensive!).

The Laurel 0138 Preview

Stems of Dallas, Lion Heart Image

72 Ba 0670 Id112821945 Preview

House of Tales EventsA Sea of Love PhotographyDavid Kimmel Design

Mackenzie Mauricio Wedding 0148 Preview

Everly Alaine Florals, Cakes by Mary, Allen Tsai Photography

TL: As for decor and design, what are absolute musts at the head table?

JR: The perk of doing the head table is you can do so much more for a small quantity instead of for everyone. For example, if the bride wants vintage china but can't afford it to have it for all 200 guests they can have it on the head table for only 20. This makes the head table special for the bride and groom and makes it a focal point with those extra design features. I think it's important to have the most "wow" floral design here. Whether it's tall, lush arrangements or a garden-inspired garland you definitely want to make a statement.

Lynch Silva Stardust 0041 Preview

Weddings by StardustJoseph Mark Photography21 Parc Floral and EventsRandy Ro Weddings

54 Ba 0637 Id112821920 Preview

House of Tales EventsA Sea of Love PhotographyDavid Kimmel DesignLa Tavola Linens

Cureton0087 Preview

Christina Childress WeddingsBranching Out Events

My other favorite part of the head table are the place settings. I love to personalize them with the bride's selections and a special touch with place cards or floral accents.

TL: What items do you love to add to table scapes as a personal touch from the bride and groom?

JR: I draw inspiration from my bride and groom when I'm designing so I think it's important to incorporate personal touches that tell their story. A great way to do this is through paper goods. The table numbers and placecards are great ways to bring a little whimsy to the design without it being cheesy.

6 B0 A1080 Preview

Bunches of RockwallPeaches with Honey

TL: How do items and elements differ when creating a casual guest table versus creating a formal guest table?

JR: Whether the table is formal or casual you want the design to appear lush and fully executed. You don't have to do "less" just because it's a casual wedding. Maybe you bring in casual elements like wood but mix it with a formal china so you have that heightened design without it being too stuffy. Formal brides tend to want large over the top floral where casual brides like things low with a lot of candlelight, but no matter what they choose you still want it to look special for the occasion.

Kee Lavender 0102 Preview

Kari Ellen EventsAllen Tsai PhotographyEverly Alaine FloralsBella AcentoSarah Ann Design

57 Ba 0645 Id112821925 Preview

House of Tales EventsA Sea of Love PhotographyDavid Kimmel DesignLa Tavola Linens

TL: What colors are best to use for each season as far as linens, rentals, floral?

JR: I don't believe in "rules!” I think a bride should have what she wants no matter what the season. If a bride loves blush and pastels but wants to be married in the fall just bring in a pop of moody tones and use materials like a soft velvet to give it a warmer feel. If she loves deep berry tones but wants to wed in the spring add some soft greenery and neutrals to lighten it up a bit.

22291325 1664028370336671 1628497178969479759 O

Jen Rios WeddingsN Barrett PhotographyR Love Floral

Lynch Silva Stardust 0032 Preview

Weddings by StardustJoseph Mark Photography21 Parc Floral and EventsRandy Ro WeddingsBBJ Linens

046 A1143 Preview

Love Abides PhotographyKatie Bug FloralHost Club Co

I think any color can work with any season with the right design in place!

Thank you, Jen, for sharing such valuable ideas for setting beautiful tables! To learn more about about Jen Rios Weddings, click here.

There is much to be shared and discovered on The Laurel Blog. Be sure to 'Like' us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram for updates. Planning an amazing event is challenging — we want to be your resource to help along the way!