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Planning a wedding is full of afterthought details that are crucial yet often overlooked. Something as simple as the linens you select can significantly impact your wedding reception’s overall look and feel.

Wedding linens are available in various colors, fabrics, and styles, so it’s necessary to do your research to find the best option for your big day.

In this complete guide to wedding linens, we’ll cover everything you need to know about renting linens for your wedding, from the different types of fabrics available to the most popular trends. By the end of this guide, you’ll be a linen pro!

We’ll go over:

The Purpose Of Wedding Linen

Wedding linens usually serve two purposes: they protect from spills and stains while also adding aesthetic value to your reception. As such, it’s crucial to think about both function and form when selecting your wedding linens.

Here are the main types of linen you’ll encounter when shopping for wedding fabrics.

Wedding Drapes

White wedding drapes

Drapes are a type of linen usually hung from the ceiling and cascade down the sides of a wedding table. They add a touch of elegance and can be used to transform a plain room into a luxurious reception space.

When placed in front of windows, drapes can also help control the amount of light that enters the room. This feature is especially important if you’re having an evening reception and don’t want your guests to be blinded by the setting sun.

Wedding drapes must be made of a durable fabric that can withstand pulling and tugging.

They should also be wrinkle-resistant, so they hang nicely. All-white wedding drapes are the most popular choice, but you can also add a pop of color with drapes in your wedding’s accent hue. Sheer drapes are also popular as they let in natural light and give the illusion of a larger space.

Draping outside

Wedding Table Linens

As the name suggests, table linens are placed on top of tables. They protect the tables from spills and stains while also adding a bit of style and class. Linens are an amazing way to bring a high scale elegance to your event. You can incorporate strong pops of color, bold patterns, or stick to a soft neutral and let the rest of your decor do the talking!

Floral table linens on tables and chairs

Table linens come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most common type is a rectangular tablecloth that hangs down to the floor on all sides. If you’re using round tables, you’ll need special round tablecloths (or the corners will bunch up and look messy).

Some couples opt for a more minimalist look by using table runners instead of tablecloths. These pieces of fabric are long, narrow strips placed down the center of a table. They can be used alone or in combination with tablecloths.

Lime and cream table linens

Wedding Napkins

Napkins are small pieces of fabric placed on each guest’s plate. Your guests will use them to wipe their mouths and hands throughout the meal.

If you’re having a formal reception, you’ll want to choose a larger size (like dinner napkins) that you can use to fold into creative shapes. For a more casual affair, you can opt for smaller cocktail napkins. These are usually square-shaped and can be placed on the plates or next to them.

Gold wedding napkins

You can even have them monogrammed with your initials! Customizing your napkins adds a personal touch to your reception and is an easy way to incorporate your wedding colors.

Wedding Chair Sashes

Last but not least, don’t forget about the chairs! Chair sashes are fabric pieces that are woven through Chivari chairs or placed over the back of chairs. They’re usually made out of the same fabric as the table linens and can be used to tie everything together.

White wedding chair covers

If you’re having a formal reception, you’ll want to choose chair covers that match the overall theme of the wedding. For example, if your wedding is a black tie event, you might want to use white chair covers with a black sash.

Designing Wedding Linen

A big part of wedding planning is choosing the right design for your linens. You’ll want to select a style that coordinates with the overall theme of the wedding and reflects your taste. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Various Types Of Linen Fabrics

Various different wedding linen fabrics

When it comes to wedding linens, you have many fabric options. Maybe too many! Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular fabrics to help you narrow down your choices:

Satin: Lightweight and lustrous, satin has a smooth surface that’s perfect for formal occasions. Satin gives off a more sophisticated vibe, making it ideal for black-tie or destination weddings.

Organza: A sheer fabric with a crisp texture, organza is often used as an overlay on another fabric. It’s perfect for adding a touch of elegance to any design.

Chiffon: Sheer and airy, this fabric has a soft hand and a slight shimmer. You’ll often see it used as an overlay or in flowing dresses.

Taffeta: A crisp fabric with a smooth surface, taffeta is perfect for creating dramatic effects. It’s often used in ballgowns and other formal dresses.

Velvet: A plush fabric with a short pile, velvet has a luxurious feel that’s perfect for winter weddings.

Linen: A natural fiber made from flax, linen is a popular choice for summer weddings. It’s lightweight and breathable, making it ideal for hot weather.

Lace: A delicate fabric with an intricate design, lace is often used as an overlay or trim. It adds a touch of romance to any design.

Cotton: Often used in casual or beach weddings, cotton is a natural fiber that’s lightweight and breathable.

Sequins: Shiny, reflective discs that come in various colors. Sequins are often used to add a touch of sparkle to a design.

Silk: A natural protein fiber, silk has a smooth surface and a luxurious feel. It’s often used in formal dresses and evening gowns.

Polyester: As solid color wedding linens go, polyester is a popular choice because it’s affordable and easy to care for. It’s often used in casual or outdoor weddings.

Details & Personalized Linen

Regardless of the fabric you choose, you can personalize your wedding linens with a variety of details. These are good options for linen pieces that you purchase and want to keep long after your wedding day.

Personalize wedding linen

Embroidery: Add a touch of luxury to your wedding linens with embroidery. This technique involves stitching designs into the fabric using thread. You can choose from various patterns, including florals, geometric shapes, and even monograms.

Beading: Another way to add sparkle to your wedding linens is with beading. This technique involves attaching beads to the fabric using thread. Beading choices include pearls, crystals, and sequins.

Colors: In addition to the wide range of fabrics available, you can also choose from various colors. Two-tone linens are a popular choice for adding interest to a design.

Prints: If you’re looking for something unique, you can choose one of many print designs. Floral prints are always popular, but you can also find geometric prints, polka dots, and animal prints.

Texture: You can add texture to your wedding linens with ruffles, pleats, and other details. It’s a great way to add visual interest to a design.

Wedding Linen Sizes

When it comes to wedding linens, size does matter!

Different table sizes require different-sized linens, so you’ll want to ensure you choose the right size for your tables. If you’re wondering what size tables you need for your wedding, you can check out our article on the topic here.

Ideally, you want your linen to hang about 10-12 inches from the table’s edge. It will give you enough fabric to create a nice, full look. If you’re going for a formal affair, you may want to choose a linen that hangs down closer to the floor. You’ll need floor-length linens for any tables in the center of the room.

As for other types of wedding linens, such as napkins and chair covers, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right size for your needs. Chair covers should be sized so that they fit snugly on the back of the chair.

The runner should be long enough to reach from one side of the aisle to the other. And the napkins should be large enough to fit in the lap of your guests.

Should You Rent Or Buy Wedding Linen?

One question you may be asking yourself is whether you should rent or buy your wedding linens. While it’s ultimately up to you, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Since wedding linens can be expensive, renting may be the more logical option. If you only plan on using the linens once, there’s no sense in spending a fortune on something you’ll only use for a few hours.

Renting also allows you to try out different styles and colors before making a final decision. That can be helpful if you’re unsure what you’re looking for.

If you decide to rent your wedding linens, contact us at Curated Events. We have an extensive linen collection across our 6 locations and have lots of options for many different tastes and aesthetics!

That being said, ownership is the main benefit of buying your wedding linens. It may be worth the investment if you plan on using the same linens for future events, such as anniversaries or family gatherings.

You’ll also have the opportunity to use the same exact linens if you ever decide to renew your vows. BUT, linens are bulky and will take up lots and lots of space when you go to store them!

Where To Find Wedding Linens

Now that you know all about wedding linens, it’s time to start shopping!

Curated Events is proud to offer a wide selection of wedding linens for rent. From long elegant drapes to luxury prints, we carry the latest styles and colors, so you’re sure to find the perfect match for your big day.

Our intricate designs and colors are sure to wow your guests! Contact us for more information.