Are you planning a special event that requires tablecloths? Renting table linens is a cost-effective option, but what size tablecloths will you need? Bright Settings has a handy PDF with three Wedding Reception Setup Checklists. It’s an invaluable tool for event planning (even if the event you’re planning is not a wedding.) Just print out the checklists and fill in the pertinent information for ordering the right number, sizes, and colors of table linens.

When determining the size of tablecloths to rent, you only need to know a couple of things:

  • The size of the tables you’ll be using, and
  • How far you want your tablecloths to “drop” over the edge of the tables.

So here’s what you need to know about table sizes and tablecloth drops.

Table Sizes

The first thing you need to do when renting table linens is find out what size tables you’ll be using. If you’re renting a banquet hall, speak to the venue manager about what size tables are supplied and how many of each. Here’s what you’ll most likely encounter:

  • Round Tables: Traditionally, round tables come in 36″, 42″, 48″, 54″, 60″, and 72″ diameters. Round guest tables are usually 60″ (5 feet across) or 72″ (6 feet across). Smaller diameter tables are often used for cake tables and other specialty uses.
  • Rectangular tables: Rectangular tables (aka “banquet tables”) come in the following standard sizes: 30″ x 72″ (6-foot tables), and 30″ x 96″ (8-foot tables).

Tablecloth Drops

The second thing you’ll have to decide when renting table linens is how much of a “drop” you want. In other words, how far do you want your tablecloths to drop over the edge of the table top. Which of the following drop measurements works best for your situation?

  • Lavish receptions (or for tables with legs that you want covered) use 30″ drops that go clear to the floor.
  • For formal affairs, drops range from 10″ to 15″ so that the tablecloth comes to the guest’s lap.
  • For more casual occasions, drops range from 8″ to 12″.

Other Considerations

  • Some venues provide white, ivory, or black tablecloths as part of the rental package. If so, consider adding color in the form of table runners or square table toppers. Check out page #1 of the Wedding Reception Setup Checklist for information on square overlays and page #2 for standard table runner sizes.
  • For special tables, nothing looks classier than a table skirt. Bright Settings rents 7′ and 14′ long table skirts in 58 colors in our most popular and affordable basic polyester tablecloths.
  • Mix and match colors! Different shades of table linens in the same color family (monochromatic color schemes) make for a rich, classy tablescape (like dark purple tablecloths with lavender napkins, for example.) High contrast color combinations make a bold statement. There are so many choices! Picking table linen colors is a really fun part of planning a special event, so if you’re still unsure about colors . . .
  • Try our free fabric swatch program. For a one-time $1.95 shipping fee, you can see for yourself the true colors of the table linens you’re interested in renting or purchasing.

When it comes to renting table linens for special occasions, Bright Settings has you covered. If you want to talk to an experienced table linen consultant, call us at 800-327-6025 during normal business hours. We’ll be happy to show you how easy it is to rent table linens for your special event!