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How to Keep Wedding Tablecloths from Wrinkling

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Buying or renting tablecloths isn’t something most couples think about when they start planning their receptions. But, it’s one of those minor details needed to bring your wedding to life and make things feel more formal. Just keep in mind that managing tablecloths can be a bit tricky when it comes to wrinkles.

Many wedding tablecloths are made of synthetic materials like polyester. If you want to keep them wrinkle-free, you should store them flat. Folding them will bring wrinkles, which is fine if you’re ready to steam, iron, or throw them in the dryer before you need them.

Unfortunately, many couples and their families get stressed out on their wedding day when they see wrinkled tablecloths all over their venue. To avoid anxiety and unsightly wrinkles, here are some tips on what you can do to prevent wrinkles and get rid of them if they show up.

Elegant wedding table setup

Why People Buy Wedding Tablecloths

It is typically tough to prevent wrinkles in wedding tablecloths. Like most people who buy linens, you know the price tag can add up very quickly. It’s surprising how much buying ten or more large tablecloths will cost you.

Still, many DIY wedding couples buy tablecloths because it saves them money overall. Either they can’t find a place to rent them in their area, or they are skipping the formal venue altogether.

Usually, people buy tablecloths when they are hosting the reception in a backyard, a church, or some other setting that doesn’t offer all-inclusive wedding services.

Even if you’re renting tablecloths, you need a way to prevent wrinkles from showing up when you place them on the tables during setup. Most of the time, renting or buying tablecloths in bulk means you’re getting synthetic materials.

Cotton and other natural materials tend to stain more easily, cost more, and don’t last as long. That means you’re likely getting polyester or some other synthetic material.

Wedding table decoration with the bride and groom on the background

Keeping Wedding Tablecloths Free From Wrinkles Is Tough

Let’s start by saying avoiding all wrinkles in your wedding tablecloths probably isn’t happen. With synthetic materials, it can seem like breathing on them causes wrinkles. Until they are placed on the tables for the day of your reception, you’ll be battling wrinkles.

However, the way you store them and when you buy them can help you not have to do so much work. If possible, buy your tablecloths closer to the wedding day than very early on. Of course, you need to have confidence in whoever is delivering them. An unforeseen logistics error or a poorly-run company can cost you having your tablecloths delivered on time.

However, getting them close to your wedding will mean you have fewer chances to wrinkle them before your big day.

Likewise, the way you store them should limit how wrinkly they get. Ideally, you’ll have space in the garage or basement to lay them flat. Please do your best not to move them until you need them on the wedding day.

Some couples have had success rolling the tablecloths and wrapping them in plastic. Rolled tablecloths won’t get any creases, but they may curl on the edges, so you’ll need to press them out before they go on the tables.

Getting Your Tablecloths Ready for the Reception

People want their tablecloths to look crisp and clean for the party. Your wedding will probably be one of the most formal parties you’ll ever throw, so every detail needs to be in place.

With wedding tablecloths, you have three options to get wrinkles out and keep them wrinkle-free.

Ironing Wedding Tablecloths

A female waiter in a restaurant irons a tablecloth with an iron before the celebration

Ironing works on cotton tablecloths and polyester. However, the main issue with ironing is how much time it takes. First, you have to clean and press each tablecloth. Depending on your reception size, it could take you hours and hours.

To cover things on the wedding day, you may have to enlist friends, family, or neighbors and their irons to ensure you can get all of them done.

Also, when ironing, be careful about the settings you’re using. You may be tempted to pump up the heat to get things done faster in the crunch of time. However, with polyester, you risk burning the tablecloths, and you’ll end up having more troubles than wrinkles.

Check the iron settings and choose a cooler temperature suitable for whatever material you have.

Steaming the Tablecloths

Household garment steamer handheld ironing machine

Even if you keep your tablecloths flat before your wedding, they have a habit of wrinkling and creasing. When that happens, you need heat and moisture to make them fall flat again. Thankfully, steaming is another good option for getting wrinkles out of your wedding tablecloths.

You can rent or buy a handheld steamer and have someone go through the tables looking for wrinkles. If you’re doing it ahead of time, simply put the tablecloths on hangers, railings, or somewhere else they can lay flat. Then, you can run the steam machine over them and leave them alone for an hour or so.

Again, don’t get a hot steamer too close to the polyester tablecloths or you risk burning them. Make sure you have enough time to steam them at the proper heat setting.

If you don’t have a steamer, you can use the bathroom to remove the wrinkles. Hang the tablecloths over the shower pole or towel rack and turn on the water at full heat. Leave them in there for an hour or so, and, hopefully, the wrinkles and creases will fall out.

Put Them in the Dryer

rows of Laundromat Dryers

Using the dryer on settings like “Permanent Press” is another fantastic way to get wrinkles out of synthetic wedding tablecloths. They will likely only need them in there for approximately an hour, so you can wait until it’s almost time to use them to start drying them.

You may need to head to the local laundromat to dry them all at once if you have a lot of tablecloths. The most important thing with a dryer is not overloading the machines. Each tablecloth needs enough room to tumble and get the wrinkles out.

Take the tablecloths out immediately after the cycle ends to prevent them from wrinkling again. Then, hang them on a clothesline or hangers until you’re ready to use them.

Spray Them With a Vinegar and Water Mixture

Apple cider vinegar, water spoon and spray bottle on white background

If you’re running through your venue and you spot wrinkles on some of your tablecloths, you’re not going to have enough time to remove everything and iron them again. If you have a handheld steamer, that can work, but so can spraying them with a mixture of water and vinegar.

Buy some small spray bottles and put three parts water and one part vinegar in them. Mix the solution up well and apply them to wrinkly spots. It will take a few minutes, but the wrinkles should fall out. It works great and is gentle on most fabrics, including polyester.

Save yourself time by enlisting family helpers to go through the venue with the bottles looking for wrinkles to spray.