Whether you’re planning a formal wedding reception, an outdoor get-together, a banquet, or something else entirely, cocktail tables are a great option for making your event practical without taking up too much space.

As is the case with any other table, though, the things a cocktail table can bring to your event and venue are only as extensive as the décor you’ve decided to include.

Decorating a cocktail table with function and design in mind can help set you up for success, as can understanding what your options are for checking off each goal on your list. 

How to Set Up a Cocktail Table: Do’s and Don’ts

A beautiful cocktail table can add a lot of personality and a sense of luxury to almost any event, but the way you plan and execute your décor matters. 

Below are some tips for things to seek out and things to avoid when planning how to decorate your cocktail tables to look their best.


  • Choose the correct linen size for your goals. In most cases, it makes sense to opt for a larger linen size than you might expect when decorating a cocktail table. This allows you to make use of the “puddle,” or excess fabric, from your linens in other ways, like tying a sash. Long, draped linens also help you achieve a polished, upscale look.

  • Plan your décor out ahead of time. The last thing you want to encounter is a lack of supplies for each of your cocktail tables or décor that simply doesn’t fit on their surfaces. Be sure to have a game plan for your tables and be prepared to take measurements as necessary.

  • Play with layering, color, and more. Keep your décor fun and fresh by introducing multiple shades, textures, and layers to your table. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box to come up with décor that feels true to your style!

  • Consider any limitations. Will your event be hosted at a venue where water exposure may be an issue? Is fire safety a concern for your linens? Think about what sort of specific circumstances apply to your situation to choose products that work with you, not against you, to get the job done.

  • Don’t:

  • Disrupt the function of your cocktail table with your décor. As tempting as it may be to fill your cocktail tables with stunning pieces and beautiful linens, doing too much on such a small space limits the actual practical use of your tables.

  • Work with materials that aren’t suited for your goals. Aside from matching the overall atmosphere of your event, your cocktail tables and their décor should make sense in terms of cost, durability, and efficiency. If you’re planning a large wedding with lots of tables, for instance, it may make more sense to choose more basic, affordable tablecloths over pricier options.
  • What to Include When Decorating a Cocktail Table

    Aside from things like tablecloths, table runners, etc., what else can you use to make your cocktail tables both functional and beautiful? 

    The best things to include depend largely on the type of event you’re preparing for, but in general, you’ll want to be sure your cocktail tables will still be easy to access and make use of, whether it be for a casual conversation or a quick bite.

    Examples of decorative elements you may want to incorporate into a cocktail table include:

    • Lighting (candles, fairy lights, lanterns, etc.)
    • Floral arrangements and bouquets, greenery, etc.
    • Food and drink – on a cake table, for instance, a stunning wedding cake or cupcakes can take center stage
    • Small place settings where guests may place drinks throughout the event

    Add Flair to Your Cocktail Table With a Sash

    It’s very common to see cocktail tables decorated with a sash tied between the fall of the table. This technique not only makes use of the extra fabric that comes from larger tablecloths, but also adds a sense of luxury to your venue. 

    How to Make Sash for Cocktail Tables

    You can get ahold of a sash for cocktail tables either by purchasing fabric that’s already been cut to be used for this purpose or by creating one yourself. 

    You can cut or fold existing fabrics (or other table linens) into a long, thin rope that you’ll tie around your table to achieve the look you’re after.

    Ensure that your sash material is long enough to completely wrap around the legs of your table and has enough excess left for you to easily tie it securely. 

    It’s also important to make sure you’re not using too long of a sash, as doing so will make it far more challenging to get a clean look.

    How to Tie a Sash on a Cocktail Table

    Learning how to tie a cocktail table sash can be a bit tricky; there may be a learning curve associated with tying the sash to look the way you want and fall in the correct spot. 

    Fortunately, the process itself is fairly straightforward – all you’ll need is the sash itself, a properly-sized tablecloth, and some patience. 

    Here’s a brief rundown on how to tie cocktail tables with sashes that look amazing:

    1. Line up your sash with your table to ensure that the fabric is centered. 
    2. Wrap your sash around your table with one end of the material in each hand. The sash should now surround the table.
    3. Slowly guide the sash to the level at which you’d like it to rest. Usually, this is just a few inches below the top of your table.
    4. Create a double knot in the center of the wrapped sash; be sure to tightly tie the knot around the stand in the middle of your table.
    5. Create a small loop with one end of the fabric just beneath the knot you created.
    6. Wrap the other end of the sash fabric around the loop and pull it through (as if you’re tying your shoelaces). This will create a bow around the knot you made. 
    7. Gently adjust each loop of your sash’s bow until you are satisfied with the look. 
    8. Adjust each hanging end of the sash until they are even. 
    9. Make adjustments to your tablecloth and sash as necessary to achieve the final look.

    Best Linens to Decorate a Cocktail Table: Our Picks

    Here at Urquid, we offer all sorts of stunning, high-quality products that make it easy to decorate cocktail tables and other parts of your venue. Because our products are cut to order, it’s simple to get your hands on linens that will actually work for your tables without any of the extra leg-work of trimming or folding. 

    Below are some of our favorite product options for decorating a cocktail table that will wow your guests.

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    Premium Poly Poplin Tablecloths: Keep things simple with these basic-yet-beautiful tablecloths, which feature a soft, solid color to serve as a foundation for the rest of your décor. 


    Imitation Burlap Tablecloths: Perfect for a rustic, homey vibe, these tablecloths come in a variety of earthy shades that won’t steal the spotlight from the pieces you use on top. 

    Glitz Sequins: There’s no better way to have fun with your decor than to incorporate textured tablecloths like this one, which features a glamorous sequined look that’s sure to bring some life to your next event. 

    Digital Print Tablecloths: Add something unique and fun to your tables with our print tablecloths, which come in a variety of designs ranging from beautiful floral patterns to funky, abstract shapes and colors.


    Jacquard Tablecloths: If high-class and high-luxury is the look you’re after, these tablecloths have got you covered. Featuring bold metallics and strikingly elegant patterns, these linens make taking your event to the next level a breeze.