Image: One Love Photo


I have expanded this blog into a website that deals with similar themes (Balance, Beauty, Balls!), but addresses life beyond wedding planning. Click HERE to check it out. See you soon!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

#9: F*CK Tablecloths!

                                                       Vanity Fare

Everyone knows I hardly EVER curse. Honest. But you know what? F*ck tablecloths. There, I said it.

I've got a $200 decorating budget for our wedding reception, and unfortunately this must include centerpieces, flowers, AND tablecloths. (Can you tell that we could only afford a no-frills venue? BYOT- bring your own tablecloths. Sheesh.)

For some reason, tablecloths can only be rented at anywhere between $7-$15 each, and when you've got 20 tables to dress like I do, you're pretty much screwed. Not even my Ebay, Craiglist, discount store, or friends-who-own-restaurants-with-tablecloths-to-lend search has led to a good find.

So. There exists something called paper tablecloths. You know, like the kind you find at children's birthday parties. At one point I thought I'd just have to suck it up and use them (despite associating paper tablecloths with stains from soda, pizza, and ice cream cake - the menu at every child's birthday bash). But I'm not sure if I can get myself to do that. Why? Because it would mean no:

                                                            Snippet & Ink

                                                Or worse yet, no:

                                                Image: W. Scott Chester

Looks like I won't be having the rustic chic, blog-worthy, indie wedding after all. But you know what I will be having? A $10,000 BBQ decorated like a children's party. (Sigh.)

I cried earlier tonight when I realized that we cannot afford tablecloths. I was literally driving around in my car at night, with the backdrop for my tears being the musical landscape of any depressing John Mayer tune I could find in my CD carrier. Dramatic? Yes. But to put things in perspective, what I was really crying about was the fact that I could not afford something so basic. I don't need a platinum wedding. I just want tablecloths at my party.

And then I cried some more because I realized how ridiculous I was being.

My best friend from grad school came to mind because she recently shared that she often cannot afford to pay her monthly bills in full. She pays what she can to Con Ed, to her landlord, and to her cell phone provider, but rarely ever the actual amount that's due. I think about what she'll probably sacrifice in order to give us a small gift for the wedding. It makes me want to insist that she not purchase anything for us at all. And it makes me want to write across the sky "F*CK tablecloths!"...and then go pick up some paper ones over at Party City and NOT be a baby about it.


  1. If you really don't want paper tablecloths, brown kraft paper would look wonderful and goes with all sorts of color palettes. Plus, you can throw some crayons or markers on the table by the centerpieces and have people write notes to you :)

  2. Hi, Engineer! And welcome. :) Yes, I considered doing that but since writing this post I discovered that I actually like how the paper tablecloths look with my centerpieces. Who knew?! But thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Hi - I came here through APW (in case you were wondering). I just thought this was funny, because I decided on paper table"cloths" very willingly. My lament is more of a "F*ck all this wedding sh!t"... but I digress. Our budget is half of yours and when I was informed that I "needed" to have tablecloths and centerpieces, I just said, "OK, paper tablecloths and crayons -- this is ridiculous." So it's yet another way that I'm maintaining my sanity during this process that I never wanted to go through (I wanted to elope, my fiance did not). I think paper will be great with your BBQ. Also, not sure what Party City sells -- I only saw plastic on their website... FYI, my dad found this:

  4. Ooh, a fellow Team Practical member! Welcome, Also Kim. Are you "Kim" from the APW comments??

    I ended up really liking the Party City paper tablecloths, but I'd definitely consider the paper roll from your link. So thanks for tip! And best of luck with your $5k wish-I-had-eloped wedding! ;) See ya on APW.

  5. I realize you already decided your paper tablecloths look good with your runners, but I feel compelled to point out for the greater Internet world: as long as you stick with a neutral color (white, beige) and decorate over the tablecloths, actually paper tablecloths can look quite nice, as can a well done butcher paper tablecloth (as can just placemats and runners on a table if the surface is nice) can look really quite good.

    It's when you get Kids' Birthday Party colors - bright yellow etc. - that it starts to look, well, like a kid's birthday party.

    I'm not a fan of white, but if we were doing paper tablecloths (I considered it. For serious - beige paper tablecloths in that color that's like aged paper, and I'd take my Japanese brush pen and draw swirls on them) they'd be cream/beige with colorful runners, because that can look good.

  6. Yes! Very true. The Party City paper tablecloths that I got are almost a vanilla pudding color and they look fabulous with my burlap table runners and little magenta daisies in shot glasses.

    I laugh in the face of overrated, white, $10 per tablecloth rentals. Muwahahaha...

  7. I know this is a year later, but what did you decide? I had this exact convo with my mom: "do you think your friends really think you're a table cloth type of person?" It felt like such a basic want that it broke my heart too. Then I considered white butcher paper with homemade, colorful table runners. So I'm curious how it turned out for you!

  8. Hi piratemolly. Welcome!

    I ended up using paper table cloths from Party City, and then I used burlap fo the table runners. (Click on the budget category to find the post I wrote on the price of all the tableware-- including the little flower heads in plastic shot glasses, which served as rustic, understated, and totally charming centerpieces.)

    I LOVED how my tables turned out. They were totally low-maintenance yet cute, which is my style in a nutshell. As long as you stay true to your personal style, you'll love your tables, too. Good luck!

  9. Your "budget" says that you only spent $75 on invitations. May I ask what you did to accomplish that?

  10. At LinenTablecloth, we offer everything you need to fully realize the vision of your dream wedding, Quinceañera, or any other event, from table linens to decor.simply tablecloths

  11. Make your presentation stand out with our table covers that are perfectly suited for every event. Promotional Table Covers Let everyone know about your company by adding custom graphics and logos to your table throws and runners


Babbling about weddings is so much more fun when people babble back. :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails