By: Tracey Manailescu
Round tables, square tables, rectangular tables, oh my! There are so many options for seating to choose from these days. What’s a planner and his/her clients to do?
Let’s see what works, and doesn’t work, for your clients for some of the most common table trends.
Round Tables and Things to Consider:
This is a traditional table set up and the most popular. Therefore linens are easy to find. The most popular sizes for round tables are 60″ or 72″ rounds. Be wary of venues trying to put 12 people at a 10 person table. Each guest needs room to move their elbows when eating, adjust their legs under the table, use their cutlery without banging into the person beside them and grab their wine glass.
Smaller round tables are making an impact lately. They are so much more intimate, and look great! It’s definitely easier to carry on a conversation with others seated with you with the smaller rounds. This style is great for smaller guest lists, destination weddings and other wedding events such as showers and engagement parties.
This can be a bit difficult for guests to position themselves for entertainment, speeches and toasts as they will have to turn themselves around and sit in sometimes awkward positions. If you have a lot of activities planned while guests are seated then this might not be the best option.
Square and Rectangular Tables and Things to Consider:
A clean and trendy looking floorplan. The professional photos will look uniform, and so great! Make sure that chairs are placed so that guests will not have to struggle to turn to see what is going on at the podium or the focal point for entertainment. You may need to leave an end empty.
For the square tables, please consider the chair legs taking up space and the guests (all of them) will have the posts in front of them. Also linens may be harder to find which means more expensive or even custom made (unless you are fitting two rectangular tables together). A big plus is there are two people at every end so easy to get in and out of the space.
*Ensure that centrepieces are not obstructing the dinnerware and that guests can see the person across from them clearly.
Long Family Tables and Things to Consider:
Guests who are seated with their backs to a wall may find it difficult to get in or out of their spots, so ensure that food service is American or plated style. (French style and butler style will also work.) It is also a bit difficult to get in and out of the seats once everyone is seated as they are so close to each other so buffets are out!
Try to avoid arranged seating in case of any no-shows. It will definitely stand out with this type of seating style.
Decor will really make a beautiful and impactful statement with this kind of set up as it becomes the focal point of the reception area. Ensure that you have lower centrepieces (for conversations), and great chairs and linens to pull off the look. It will definitely be noticed. You will need to ensure that decor is a plenty with this set up for the best impact.
*A wonderful idea to consider is combining different seating patterns. This really looks great and definitely photo worthy! Make sure that you have ample space for this type of set up though.