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Table Presets 101

When starting to plan a wedding, flurries of ideas, inspiration, and nostalgic daydreams of planning your special day from when you were young start to become not-so-distant reality. While most weddings feature heart-warming vows, clinks of glasses whistling in the air toast after toast, tears (happy, of course), delicious cake, traditional bouquet tosses, and flowers - it is important to also pay special attention to how you dress up the event space to make it personalized to your vision. Oftentimes overlooked, guest tables and chairs will inevitably take up a large portion of your event space, which means a decent portion of your event space will require a bit of attention to fit your theme, colors and overall aesthetic.

Add a touch of flair to your event.

Make the room stand out.

Include personal details throughout your table settings.

We'll cover

  • What a table preset entails.

  • Why it’s beneficial to your event space

  • The services we provide as a catering company

WIPA Chapter Event // Jenn Tai Photography

What is a table preset?

A table preset, also known as “table setting” is the layout in which a table is set. Traditionally this includes eating utensils, plates, glassware, and linens.

Below are three main aspects to a table pre-set -

1. The Linens -

Linens can be as bold or as muted as you would like. Oftentimes linens are used as a pop of color to compliment your decor. Your linen choices should include the base table linen and the linen napkin for each guest. We recommend a neutral tone for the base linen and a pop of color for the linen napkins. This way the room isn’t overwhelmed with colors (unless that’s the vibe you’re going for).

2. The Cutlery & Dinnerware -

Fork, knife, spoon, and plate these are the items you’ll set as a place setting at each seat. Depending on the formality of your event, this could also include a salad plate, bread plate, and plate charger. The service style of your meal will also determine the proper way to set your tables. Service styles include, buffet, plated or family-style.

3. The Glassware -

Similar to cutlery and dinnerware, your glassware needs will depend on the formality and service-style of your event.

Water goblets are the exception to this, and should always be included as a convenience to your guests. Wine glasses and/or champagne glasses are a nice touch for tableside pour service. If tableside service is not included at your event, we recommend these glasses remain at the bar to keep from cluttering your tables.

Beautiful backyard setting // Shaunae Teske Photography

Why are presets necessary?

Besides adding a bit of elegance to an overall beautiful night, presets are a great way to compliment those detailed centerpieces. They’re an affordable alternative to purchasing extra décor that can help fill your tables.

Compare your reaction when walking into a restaurant with preset plates, flatware, wine glasses and personal paper menus versus a restaurant with empty tables displaying only the hot sauce holder. You immediately categorize the type of atmosphere you’re walking into, as well as the menu items you’ll be offered.

Think of a preset for your event the same way you think of your favorite restaurant. Inviting, aesthetically pleasing, and an overall enjoyable experience.

Wedding head table // Jaclynn Wilkinson Photography

Our table preset service

ACT 3 Catering understands the detail and thought involved when it comes to setting a table. After all, you can’t enjoy your meal without the essentials.

To relieve this detailed stress, we offer our table ‘pre-set’ service in addition to your catering needs. From linen placement, to napkin folding, cutlery rentals to setting your tables. We provide full table pre-sets that match the theme, and formality of your event.

We work closely with our partner rental company CORT Party Rentals to find you the perfect colors and overall aesthetic.

As an added bonus, our pre-set service includes our glass water goblets with tableside water service throughout your meal experience.

As much as you’ve enjoyed designing your overall event space, we know you’ll enjoy choosing your table presets as well. We’re happy to quote you for our services - visit for more details and pricing info.

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