An important, yet overlooked, aspect of the reception is the table layout. A well-designed reception room gives guests plenty of room to move around and mingle, and gives the bride and groom plenty of room to walk around to greet all of their guests. We interviewed Prive Events on how much thought they put into table formations to be both pleasing to the eye and as functional as possible.
Prive Events is a Colorado-based wedding planning company lead by Brittany Barry. Not only is Brittany an International Event and Wedding Planner Professional (IEWP), but she is also a Certified Floral Designer! This gives their company a unique edge, as they are knowledgeable of numerous aspects of wedding design. Is your wedding outside of Colorado? No problem! Prive Events also loves planning international and destination weddings. We thought they were the perfect experts to answer some of our questions about table design options at receptions.
1) What is your process of deciding which table shape to use at a reception? And what is your process of deciding what formation to arrange the tables in at a reception? Are there more efficient ways to arrange tables depending on the venue size?
In order to decide the table shape and formation/layout of tables for the reception it is necessary to take into account the venue size, shape of the room, number of guests, if there will be a head table, if so what is the size of wedding party and will the wedding party be seated with their guests, and finally whether or not the couple wants a sweetheart table. Also, from a financial standpoint I find out if any tables are provided by the venue and determine if they can be used to avoid renting tables at an additional expense.
Once all this is determined, I do my best to accommodate the couple’s wants regarding head table, sweetheart table, etc. while using the available resources. It is important to make sure the space is not too crowded, the tables are evenly distributed and the formation is pleasing to the eye.
2) Have you noticed a certain style of table shape or formation that is trending?
My favorite layout, and one that has been very popular lately is to have a long head table (where the wedding party/bride and groom are seated) down the center of the reception surrounded by circular tables on each side with the rest of the guests. This formation makes the head table the center/focal point of the reception. I love the look of mixing and matching different table styles (for example, wooden farm tables can be used for the long head table and 8 – 10 top rounds with linens for the surrounding tables with the guests). The variety of tables is pleasing to the eye and creates a nice balance for the reception. From a design perspective, centerpieces can be mixed and matched as well (place a long garland with candles down the center of the farm tables and flower arrangements on the round tables).