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How to Choose Linens for Your Event

When planning an event, every detail matters, and selecting the right linens is crucial in setting the tone and atmosphere of your gathering. Whether you’re hosting a wedding, a corporate event, or a casual garden party, the linens you choose can transform your venue from ordinary to extraordinary. This guide will help you navigate the various aspects of choosing linens, from tablecloth sizes to the material and design, ensuring your event decor stands out.

Understanding Tablecloth Sizes

Choosing the correct tablecloth sizes is the first step in selecting linens. Standard tablecloth sizes vary depending on the size and shape of your tables. For rectangular tables, rectangle tablecloth sizes typically range from 60 inches by 120 inches to 90 inches by 156 inches. These sizes ensure that the cloth hangs beautifully over the table without being too long or too short.

For round tables, the size of your tablecloth will depend on the diameter of the table and the desired “drop” or overhang. A standard rule of thumb is to allow a tablecloth drop length of at least 6 inches but no more than 12 inches from the edge of the table to the bottom of the linen.

Choosing the Right Table Cloth Material

The material of your tablecloths plays a significant role in the overall look and feel of your event. Popular table cloth materials include polyester, satin, and linen, each offering a different aesthetic and functional benefits. Polyester is durable, easy to wash, and resists wrinkling, making it a great choice for high-traffic events. Satin adds a touch of elegance and sheen, perfect for glamorous weddings or upscale gatherings. Linen, on the other hand, offers a rustic or refined appearance, ideal for outdoor events or intimate, classy settings.

Selecting Colors and Styles

The color and style of your linens should complement the theme and palette of your event. Neutral colors like whites, creams, and pastels provide a soft background that highlights your centerpiece and decor. Bold colors can make a dramatic statement and are excellent for thematic or festive occasions.

Incorporating textures and patterns can also enhance your event’s aesthetic. Damask and jacquard fabrics offer intricate patterns that are subtly sophisticated. For a more modern touch, geometric patterns or bold stripes can create a contemporary vibe.

Wedding Linens

For weddings, the choice of linens can reflect the couple’s personality and wedding theme. Wedding linens typically involve more delicate materials such as silk or organza overlays, which add a romantic and luxurious feel to the celebration. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colors and textures. Layering different materials or colors can add depth and interest to your wedding decor.

Planning for Banquet Tablecloths

Banquet tablecloths are designed for large-scale events such as conferences, gala dinners, or large weddings. When selecting banquet tablecloths, consider the scale of the venue and the number of guests. Larger, more ornate tablecloths can make expansive venues feel more intimate and inviting. Ensure that the tablecloths match the scale and formality of the event to maintain a cohesive look.

Determining Table Runner Size

Table runners are a great way to add contrast and dimension to your table settings. The size of the table runner should complement the size of the tablecloth and the table itself. Generally, a table runner should be approximately one-third the width of the table and hang over the edges by 6 to 10 inches. If you’re wondering how long should a table runner be, it typically ranges from 72 inches to 120 inches, depending on the table length.

What Size Tablecloth Do I Need?

To determine what size tablecloth you need, measure the dimensions of your table and decide how much drop you want. A more formal setting typically requires a longer drop, reaching close to the floor, while a casual event may have a shorter drop. For example, a 72-inch round table with a 15-inch drop would require a 102-inch round tablecloth.

Final Touches with Linen Accessories

Accessories such as napkins, chair covers, and bows can also be matched with your linens to create a coordinated look. Consider the fabric and color of these accessories to ensure they complement the overall design scheme.


Choosing the right linens is essential to creating an inviting atmosphere at any event. By considering the size, material, and style of your table linens, you can enhance the aesthetics of your venue and ensure that your event leaves a lasting impression on your guests. For expert advice and a wide selection of high-quality linens, contact Long Island Tent & Party Rentals. We are here to help with all your event planning needs, ensuring every detail is perfect.