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Get Ready, Name that Table!

Gone are the days when numbers were the only way to designate tables at a wedding reception or bridal shower. Table names are now the way to go. They serve the purpose but are far more imaginative. Meaningful, clever, even witty–they immediately engage the guests in the occasion as they play up the party’s theme. Here are ideas for choosing table names for their significance to the locale, the decor, the color scheme, even the bride’s personality. Get ready, name that table!

At a Beach-Themed Party

Beach-inspired table names and seashell card holders are an ideal match.

A wedding celebration by the beach is the perfect opportunity for a party using every sea-inspired element possible. This goes for the table names as well. The couple may choose to name each table after the most fabulous beaches in the world. Or, for a personal touch, they can select the names of beaches they have visited together or those they wish to travel to in the future. Thus, the tables could bear names such as: Bondai, Cape Cod, Hampton Beach, Newport, Palm Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Shipwreck Beach, and Virginia Beach.

Names of famed tropical islands such as Maui, Fiji, Seychelles, and Mauritius are another option; as are the names of seashells or mythical creatures of the sea. Display each name in a shell card holder surrounded by a bed of sand and small seashells, or edible treats such as taffy or tropical-flavored candy. Fasten the name cards securely to the card holder with invisible or clear tape to prevent them from being blown away by the sea breeze.

At a Fashion-Inspired Bridal Shower

Mini bridal gowns set off fashion-inspired table names perfectly.

Bridal showers with a fashion-inspired theme are not uncommon these days. Such an occasion can have tables named after bridal gown designers like Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier. Fabrics, clothing styles, or even fashion icons like Sienna Miller, Audrey Hepburn, and Jackie Onassis may lend their names to the shower tables as well. For a whimsical bridal fashion statement, mini bridal gowns may hold table name cards inspired by various styles of wedding gowns: A-Line, Ball Gown, Empire-Cut, Spaghetti-strap, and Strapless.

These same table name holders may likewise be used as place card holders at each guest’s place setting. Beyond that, they can even share the spotlight surrounding the shower or wedding cake, or be displayed on the gift or reception table.

Related article: How to Select a Perfect Bridal Gown For a Summer Wedding

At a Bridesmaid’s Luncheon in a Garden Setting

“Hana,” Japanese for flower, is one lovely table name displayed in petite flower pots.

Table names can readily draw inspiration from the dream setting for a bridal shower, a floral garden. Choose the names of well-loved flowers like rose, daisy, tulip, and carnation, then display each table name in an arrangement of that particular flower. Another charming idea would be to use different translations of the word “flower” and set each name card in a mini flower pot that can later be taken home as a memento. Here are some examples: Fleur (French), Fiore (Italian), Flor (Spanish), Hana (Japanese), and Pua (Hawaiian).

At a Tea Party or Reception with a Color-based Theme

For occasions where color, rather than a theme, provides the unifying element, crafting table names may be a special challenge. That’s where one’s inventiveness comes in. A tea party or reception decorated mainly in blue, for example, can have tables named after flowers like forget-me-nots, bluebells, and cornflowers. The names of various blue hues like navy blue, royal blue, periwinkle, and cobalt, as well as blue items, like sapphire, water, sky, and blueberries can also be used. Present each table name in a jeweled place card holder that matches the same blue theme.

Crafting table names to suit the occasion calls for extra creativity and wit. The rule of thumb is to select names with a clever take on the party’s theme, venue or color scheme, and to display them in complementary table name holders. It is finishing touches like these that show guests just how much attention was paid to every detail of the celebration. Their response will be well worth the effort.

Products Mentioned

Anaisa Seashell Cardholder

Frelerina Enamel Frame

Florentina Card Holder

Cescalena Seashell Frame

Petite Jeune Bridal Gown

Soseya Placecard Holder


  1. Hi, my Fiance and I are getting married in October and we’re planning on naming the tables after our favourite swing songs. I was wondering if it is possible to get a table accessory in the form of a cd? Maybe a 45 or something similar to an old vinyl lp with the names of the songs on each one. It’s a black tie wedding with 230 people attending so the cd accessory would fit in well with the theme.

    Thank you,

  2. What a great idea! Perhaps it might be hard to find a table accessory in the form of a CD or LP so I suggest that you improvise. First, you may want to search through record stores in your area that still sell old LPs. You can even try flea markets that sell antique items. Another option is to just find some old LPs, and then replace the artwork of the cover. If you can find the LPs artwork on the web, you may be able to print them out from your home computer. Hope this helps! Good luck.

  3. It will be my mothers 70th birthday in October and my siblings and I would like to name the tables… But what them should we use??? Any ideas???

  4. Since it will be a 70th birthday party, I’m thinking that incorporating a 1940s Hollywood theme would be a great idea. You can name the tables after actors and actresses such as Clark Gable, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Ingrid Bergman. Another option is use movie names! If you can find black and white photos, create a vintage-look by inserting them into table frames and make them part of your decor!

  5. Bernice Janse van Rensburg

    Could you please help me with a table name at our Christmas Party? We have to name our own table. I work in a medico-legal department and one of the suggestions was “The Defendants”. However, that sounds boring. What could we use instead?

  6. Hi, Bernice — Boy, this is a challenge! Maybe “Legal Eagles”? Or “CSI” with the letters standing for “Christmas S________ I_______”? Is there something about your department that might fill in those blanks meaningfully (or humorously)?

    Get back to me if you still need some ideas. 🙂

  7. we are having a party for my daughter Grace’s 12th birthday for 150 people (60 kids) and as we are not having a defined theme for the party we do not have any ideas for Table names . Help – there will be 9 tables

  8. Hi, Mark — We’d suggest starting by asking Grace what she’d like (unless, of course, this is a surprise party for her!). Since you don’t have a specific theme, it would depend what she’s into. For example, her 9 favorite book characters, 9 teen movie or music celebs, 9 favorite candies as she was growing up, 9 vacation spots she loves, etc. Then, each table name card can be decorated accordingly!

    Hope these ideas help. 🙂

  9. Hi! We are having a fair themed wedding and want to name the tables but are having a hard time doing that, we need about 26 names. Please help me!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I mean fairy lol

  11. Hi, Sherrie — What a cute theme! My initial suggestion would be to name the tables after fairy characters in books, movies, etc. (like Flora, Fauna, Merryweather, Tinkerbell). But the challenge is the number of tables you’ll be having. So perhaps you can google “fairy names in books and movies” for want of a more scientific approach!

    Or you could combine fairy names with things associated with fairies, like pixie dust, fairy wings, 3 wishes, enchanted forest, etc. — although you may feel these are too kiddie for a wedding. Wish I could be of more help!

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