The main thing to remember though is that nowadays anything goes! its your day so have it your way. Just bear in mind space being the ultimate deciding factor for you in considering layout of the tables
Traditional Top Table
- The bride & groom typically sit at the middle of a long table (which is the head table) and are seated with the bridal party and the groomsmen.
The Long & Short Of It!On trend lately is family style seating. These aren’t reserved for outdoor or tented weddings anymore! Couples are able to incorporate both large rectangular tables as well as rows of longer tables.
Pros for this style seating:
- Can make your reception very intimate
- Cost of linen would be lower considering you would have less tables to outfit
- Really great for destination weddings with not as many guests in attendance
- Your table decor will look seamless along the longer table
Cons for this style seating:
- If one person ends up being a no show or last minute cancellation it can throw off your entire seating chart
- Tend to look better in larger spaces
- You would probably have to choose a plated dinner – if one table went up to the buffet stations that would result in many guests being up at the same time to get food
- Conversation flow may not be the easiest as you’ll probably be speaking exclusively with the neighbour to your left/right
Round and Round We Go!
If you’re wanting to stay on the more traditional path round tables would be the way to go! Having round tables at your reception doesn’t necessarily mean 8 or 10 people to a table. You could always have smaller round tables to provide a more intimate feel.
- Most if not all venues offer variations of round tables
- If one person is a no show or last minute cancellation it will not throw off the seating arrangement
- You can always do different sizes of the rounds to accommodate for your guest list
- Easier to mingle around the room
- It’s classic so if your more of a modern couple – this might not be for you
- You have to be careful what centrepieces are used because you don’t want to block the flow of conversation at the table
- Round tables take up a larger amount of space and don’t fit as cleanly against the wall
Are you a more modern couple? what about Square?
- Offers a modern look to a ballroom wedding
- Your guests will have an easy flow to conversation
- Since it’s not the standard table – linens would cost extra
- If your venue does not offer a square table option again this would be an extra cost
- Standard square tables are limited to only fitting 8 people per table – so may have to accommodate more tables or get larger square tables
Something Different? Mix and Match
When the layout is chosen all that is left to do is your Seating Plan.
A often stressful task that can see families arguing about Aunt Marge sitting next to Uncle Hester lol.
Always start with your top table then the nearest tables to your top table or sweetheart table should be families, followed by close friends. Remember that if you have any elderly relatives you may want to sit them near to the conveniences and just make sure they have a clear access especially if they are in a wheelchair.
My other suggestion would be to get a cork board and some sticky post it notes/tags, easy to move people around when playing around trying out different options.
There are no right or wrong ways, its your wedding so do what's right for you.