Wedding Planning

10 Examples of Modern Place Settings

Out of all of the wedding types to define, ‘modern’ is more definitely the most difficult to pin down.

Out of all of the wedding types to define, ‘modern’ is more definitely the most difficult to pin down. Mainly this is due to modern’s widely divergent styles, from bold, bright color to sleek white minimalism.  These 10 ideas for place settings encapsulates all the trends and styling that we love about modern wedding design.

Modern weddings can incorporate color in unexpected and eye-catching ways.  The origami cranes (above) with their coordinating geometric patterned menu add fun pops to the white linen background.  If you need to plan something a little simpler, you can have a similar effect by using a bright napkin folded in a unique way (below).

Not all modern color has to be day-glo bright.  This Southwestern table decor (below) features multi-colored place setting in rich earth tones.  If not for the impactful arrows, this tablescape could almost be rustic.

One of my favorite trends in modern weddings is the blending of different textures and patterns.  This sequined tablecloth pairs amazingly well (who’d have thunk it?) with tiny succulents and paint-dipped flatware.  The end result is chic and refined.

One of these patterns on their own would look vintage or traditional or retro, but when used together, they create a very modern version of traditional romance.  Above, this look could’ve gone wrong without a practiced hand.  The designer kept the black and white fabrics in the same shades (white is not paired with off-white), and all the color to the floral details.  It’s a really brave look that paid off. Can you just imagine sitting down to this place setting?

If it were just the pink flowers, this place setting would probably look very vintage. But when sitting alongside ‘striped’ flatware and a menu with a modern edge to its typography, it becomes very 21st century.


And now we come to the minimalism, from a simple menu in gray atop a square plate (above) to a teeny tiny place card on a fork tine (below), modern doesn’t need to be complicated.  When you go this route for your own modern affair and you want it to look clean, not unfinished, pay attention to the few details you do use.  Use creative fonts or icons on your paper goods.  The yellow ampersand on the menu below infuses this place setting with a sense of fun.


If you want to have a simple setting amidst a more lavishly decorate table, do as this wedding did. Overdo the central ‘runner’ space of the table with your decor (in this case, they used potted all-green topiaries in varying heights) and then keep the charger and/or plate simple.

Lastly, create a mood with your place setting.  This modern Halloween wedding used ravens throughout their reception space, including their place cards to create a frightfully elegant decor.  But you could do similar things with other themes for the same effect. Beach wedding with a sense of humor?  Try place cards shaped like sunglasses.  Christmas wedding?  Decorate your otherwise spartan table with gold sequin-covered ornaments.

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