Tablescaping is the art of turning real-life cake buffets into a Wayne Thiebaud painting. If you plan to whip one up solo, you are advised to learn the rules before you break ‘em. They mostly just ask that you adhere to the basic tenants of whimsy.
top ten tablescapes
an actual sign
Keep it brief and to the point, like ‘Sweets’ or ‘Good Eats’. Bonus points if your invitation to nibble doubles as a euphemism for something naughty.
Tea lights are especially pretty, creating the illusion of fireflies dancing above the croissants and jam. Antique table lamps are another way to go, creating a writer’s desk ambiance.
This one’s a no-brainer since candies, jellies, chocolates and cakes are as purty on the outside as they are yummy on the inside. Get them all dolled up too with vintage cake stands, glass bowls and painted vases.
a standout backdrop
Rustic is particularly popular, seeing a rise in farmyard fences, schoolhouse chalkboards and foggy windows. Of course, if your inner sweetheart is louder than your inner cowgirl, pastel ruffles (or shower curtains) and rainbow doilies are the only way to keep her quiet.
A fun alternative to the perennial country tableaux is the post-modern tablescape, riddled with pop-art references, oddly colored liquorice and matching details that yelp OCD.
Engagement photography has given us grand pianos deserts and four-post beds in forests. The Goodies Table may as well hop on the hipster bandwagon with stripped dressers and carved bureaus.
In this instance, whimsy refers to taking some farcical, fanciful theme, running with it, and then teetering on the brink of just-a-little-too-much.
It should be noted that flowers in this instance do include fruits and veggies, because the only thing cuter than short-stemmed peonies in old Coke bottles are root vegetables in a mason jar.
Granted, hanging fixtures don’t levitate so much as they hang. But luminosity poorly cloaked in transparency gives off the illusion of weightless wonder or fluttering fireflies.
Think: one pair of wiry glasses, one typewriter, one fedora on a hook, one yellowed copy of Sons and Lovers and oh, six or seven bottles of wine.