7 Unique Ways to Dress a Cocktail Table

7 Unique Ways to Dress a Cocktail Table in a Wedding

If you’ve been to a wedding, chances are you've seen or stood around a cocktail table. Cocktail tables, also known as highboy tables, bistro tables, pub tables, or tall tables, are used most commonly for the cocktail hour between the wedding ceremony and reception.

With guests mingling amongst each other, and appetizers or drinks being passed out, these tables are essential so guests have a place where they can easily set food and drinks down. While mainly used as a conversation area, cocktail tables are part of the big day and they should look equally beautiful as the rest of the wedding reception tables.

If you need to become more familiar with tall table decor or simply looking for new ways to dress them up, you've come to the right place. Today, we will be showing seven great ways to dress a cocktail table for the big day!

Finding The Perfect Cocktail Table Cover

Spandex Cocktail Table Cover 36" Round - Pink
Velvet Spandex Cocktail Table Cover 32" Round - Navy Blue
Spandex Cocktail Table Cover 30" Round - Fuchsia

Highboy cocktail tables come in varying heights including 24”, 30”, 32”, and 36” in diameter, with the most common height of 42” or bar height. These tall tables are often pretty standard and stark in appearance, which is where cocktail table decor and linens come into play!

One of the favorite ways to decorate cocktail tables is by using spandex table linens. These stretch spandex cocktail table covers offer the easiest and most convenient table styling because of their wrinkle-free properties and ease of stretching on and off the tables. 

They fit like a glove on standard cocktail table sizes. The different materials choices, additional colors, and the variety of textures and patterns will take the decor to a whole new height!

Meanwhile, flowy white tablecloths are perfect for pairing with cocktail table covers with the wedding’s color scheme, or leave them as they are! Simply add a garland or a bow to tie around the upper base.

What Is The Best Tablecloth Size For Cocktail Tables?

Most cocktail tables have a height of 42” and the ideal floor-length linen for a 24” cocktail table will be a 108” round tablecloth. For a 30-inch table the best tablecloth size is 114” round and 116” round for a 32” table. Lastly, for a 36” cocktail table, a 120” round table linen will provide a floor-length tablecloth drop.

If you want to create a cinched look with table runners, sashes, or garlands, use a tablecloth in the one or 2 sizes up. Make sure you have the correct cocktail table measurements beforehand to prevent the legs of the table from becoming exposed as the tablecloth is gathered.

You can easily find the tablecloth sizes you need by simply entering the height and diameter of the table into our handy sizing chart and it’ll determine the ideal floor-length tablecloth size required.

With the ideal tablecloth size found, you are ready to style high-top tables at your special event. Check out these seven simple decor ideas to take your cocktail tables from basic to spectacular!

Wedding Cocktail Table Looks

cocktail table decor ideas

1. Cocktail Table Bow

This style is super easy and quick to apply and results in a very classy and elegant aesthetic. Choose anything from the plain polyester linen tablecloth to a fancy textured linen-like leaf petal taffeta. Choosing a sash in a contrasting color will help the bow stand out.

Once your tablecloth is draped over, take a chair sash or table runner as your sash and loop it around the upper base of the table ensuring both ends are even. From here, you will double knot the sash for stay-security which will allow the bow to hold up better and not slide down the table. Finally, loop it into your classic, bunny-ear bow, pulling and fluffing until your bow is captured in your desired look.

Tip: Using a wider sash will be able to create a bigger bow for a more dramatic effect.

2. Greenery Garland Tie

This unique table styling is achieved in a way very similar to the bow style, but the sash is replaced with a greenery garland that gives a more natural and even rustic look that is ideal for outdoor events or vintage/barn-themed weddings.

Any extra garland can be intertwined together for a cohesive, seamless look. This choice will coordinate with any table linens, but pairs especially well against a simple white table covering.

3. Cascading Pooling Effect

This cocktail table decor is most alluring and is both romantic and glamorous, particularly with glitz sequin linens set against a solid tablecloth. This cocktail table decor idea is very convenient if the specialty linen is not available in the ideal size for your cocktail table.

To achieve this look, you will need the top linen to be similar in size to the base linen, or slightly smaller. Once placed over the base linens, adjust one end of the specialty linen to the desired drop around the table. Then, gather the extra fabric to the front and tie it into a simple knot. Lastly, arrange the extra material at the base of the table.

Tip: Mesh-backed glitz linens are perfect for this style because they have added flexibility.

4. Curly Willow Ribbon

Curly willow grants an endlessly stylish look with a luxurious cascade. It makes for a great way to add volume and texture to your tables, as well as continues your curly willow theme if ruffle curly willow sashes or skirts have been used throughout other aspects of your decor.

This fashionable cocktail table tie begins by setting base linen and adding specialty linen on top, similar to the previous pooling effect look. Once the specialty linen is adjusted to the desired drop, you will then gather the extra fabric to the front. Next, pull the extra fabric off the floor and tie it resulting in a bunch-and-drop look. Lastly, add a curly willow sash for an alluring style!

5. Twist Effect

An ethereal, sophisticated look, the twist effect cocktail table tie is a quick and simple way to create an upscale ambiance. After finding the ideal tablecloth size, opt for the next size up to allow for the "shrinkage" that will occur with the twisting effect. For this style, choose a tablecloth that will provide a smooth finish such as lamour satin or polyester tablecloths.

To get the look for your cocktail tables, the tablecloth will simply be twisted around the base of the table until it is gathered as tight as possible. Then let the remainder of the tablecloth drape into a slight puddle on the floor.

For a sharper look, pass a fabric steamer over the round tablecloths to remove any wrinkles created during the process. The completed look is a satisfying twist effect that will instantly catch the attention of your guests.

6. Cocktail Table Cuff

This sweet and simple wedding cocktail table decor idea will minimize visual bulk while still maximizing a dramatic impact. The tie can be placed as high or low on the base of the table as you prefer, however when the sash is placed higher up, the end will look like a martini glass cocktail table! 

Start by looping a wide sash or an elegant table runner, around the cocktail table at the base of the table. Then, make one end shorter and tie both ends into a knot. Extend the sash by its width and start wrapping the base of the table.

Continue to wrap it down the length of the table base, overlapping the shorter end, before finally tucking the last remaining bit of fabric under the wrap you have just styled. 

7. Floral Tie

A couture look for any indoor or outdoor event, the use of fresh or faux floral accents creates a glamorous embellishment for your cocktail table linens. You can style the table in any of the above looks and pair it with these accents, or you can follow this tie idea.

Start with a floor-length tablecloth topped with a square overlay. Then bring the side and back corners of the overlay to the front corner and tie all the overlay fabric with a ribbon. Lastly, add floral decor to hide the tie, you can choose to add fresh or faux florals. You can choose a single flower, like a fabric or foam flower, or you can bring in multiple-size florals with greenery accents for a dreamy cascade effect. 

There you have it! A collection of stunning cocktail table tie options that will transform any plain cocktail table into an impressive work of art. But don’t let this be the end of the transformation, to further enhance the look let's discuss the finishing touches!

Don’t let their name determine how these tables are used, their sleek and slender sizes offer a great opportunity to be used anywhere. Use your beautifully decorated cocktail tables as wedding podiums, transform them into unique dessert tables, add name tags for a sign-in table, and much more. 

Our Products

Artificial Faux Willow Greenery Garland 6ft Long
Spandex Cocktail Table Cover 30" Round - Black
Velvet Spandex Cocktail Table Cover 32" Round - Champagne

Loose Stems & Bunches

High Boy Spandex Tablecloths

Velvet Spandex Cocktail Covers

For additional inspiration and magical party décor tips & tricks, check out our Pinterest Page, and be sure to follow our Instagram account.

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