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Wedding Reception & Event Seating Ideas

You walk into the reception, and it’s the same old, round 8-tops scattered throughout the room. Although round tables are a classic, elegant layout option, if you're wanting to avoid 8-top fatigue, here are some ideas to spice up your reception or event seating layout!

Source: Wedding Elation

Keep the rounds, but go with different sizes!

A 60” round table is the standard, and can accommodate 6-8 seats. However, think bigger or smaller! A 48” table will fit 4-6 seats and a 72” table will seat 8-10. Interspersing these tables throughout the venue will add a different visual element. It may also help with seating charts, if you’re looking to seat particular groups together.

Source: Rustic Wedding Chic

Trending right now is family style seating using rectangular tables.

A standard rectangular banquet table is 8’x30”. However, ideally, for this type of arrangement, a wider table, such as 8’x36” would be used, especially if food is also being served family-style (entrees placed on the table and passed by the guests). Originally thought to be better for rustic or outdoor settings, this arrangement is now popping up in even the most formal and elegant of venues.

Photo By: Photography by Vanessa

Square tables are a more modern, yet less popular choice for receptions. Most square tables can fit up to 8 comfortably, so if you are short on space and need optimal seating, square tables are not your best option.

Photo credit: The Style Co.

Rarely seen are serpentine tables. They are usually not a standard furniture option in venues and can be costly to rent, but serpentine tables can provide a stunning visual element to your venue. This layout is most commonly seen outdoors with long spans of empty space available. If you're wanting the curved seating layout, but your venue does not offer serpentine and table rentals are out of budget, work with your designer/coordinator to create the same effect, but with rectangular tables. You will have to accept that there will be some spacing gaps and the tables will not be flush with each other, but the overall results can still be achieved.

Photo credit: Louisa Bailey

Not sure about using only rounds, square, or rectangular tables? Why not try all of them! Incorporating different table styles will provide a dramatic setup for your event.

Photo credit: Photography By Tay

Other different seating formats include a hollow square, where rectangular tables are place in a square shape. For smaller, intimate weddings, this can be an excellent set up selection. Bonus: If your hollow square has an eye-catching element in the middle, as depicted in the picture below with the focal point of the pool.

Photo credit: KT Merry

Similar to a hollow square is a U-shape that can incorporate the family style seating. This can also be a modernized spin on the bridal party table, by not isolating them from the rest of the guests.

Photo credit: Style Me Pretty

More unique options include creative layouts using rectangular tables, such as cross-style, Xs, Vs, chevron, or a stair design. Or even creating the last name initial of the bride and groom!

Photo credit: Justine Ungaro

Photo credit: Photography By Tay

Photo credit: Romy Modlin Photography, LLC

With modern, loft venues becoming more popular, lounge seating is also popping up more in events. If your venue does not supply the desired styles to create the lounge atmosphere, seek a rental to select the couches, chairs, and tables needed for your vision to come to life.

Photo Credit: Alan Martinez Photography

Lounge does not have to be only for modem aesthetics, as the picture below depicts a vintage set up outdoors. One thing to keep in mind is to refrain from only having lounge style seating if you’re serving full meals.

Source: Fab Mood

I hope some of these suggestions sparked ideas of how to transform your reception or next event!

xo stephanie

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