Tables and Layout
You will want to begin planning your reception by thinking about the size of the room and how many people you can comfortably fit into the space.
If you are having a sit down meal, think about whether you want round tables or long banquet style tables. Round tables mean that your guests can talk to everyone at the table not just the people sitting next to them. A 5’ round table can fit 8 people comfortably. A 6’ round table will fit 10 people comfortably or up to 12 people if absolutely needed.
If you want to mix it up a little, use a combination of round tables and rectangular tables. Just remember to think about the view that each table has because everyone ultimately wants to have a view of the happy couple.
Some couples have chosen to use one long banquet table to seat all of their guests. This can be a very dramatic effect for a reception but depends a lot on the actual location of your reception and whether or not it would support something like this.
You can also create large square tables either by pushing two rectangular tables together or even creating a hollow square layout, both of which would still have the advantage of everyone seeing each other that you have with traditional round tables.
Finally, don’t forget to account for the space needed for buffet tables, serving stations, cake and gift tables, DJ tables, etc. They all take up space and you need to make sure to include them. This is also the point to figure out the dance floor situation. Don’t worry if you can’t fit it into the space with all of your tables in place. Tables can easily be moved off the dance floor to make space for you to dance the night away.
Centerpieces and Decor
Once you have the table layout complete, the fun can really begin. The decor is what gives your reception the look and feel that you are trying to accomplish. We always tell our clients to begin collecting ideas and inspiration pictures as soon as they get engaged. You can collect pictures, magazine clippings, and websites of centerpieces, favors, decorations, etc. that you really like. Take this collection of inspiring elements and use it to narrow down what you want your reception to be then incorporate it into the theme and color scheme you are using.
Prime Time Party Rental and Finch Rentals are two local companies that offer a wide array of tables, chairs, linens, as well as glass and dinnerware. Rental companies can work with you to create sample tables to see what a reception table may look like for your special day.