The Labor of a Wedding Reception Layout

What’s your vision for your wedding reception?

Ironically, your layout is probably one of the last things you think about for your wedding day.  But in reality, it can be a huge part of your wedding.  Figuring out where to seat your guests and how that will look across the room can be a difficult game of Tetris.  Thankfully, we’re here to help you through some of the stress that is a layout.

Heather, our main Catering and Reception Planning Manager is well-versed in what layouts we can pull off around here.  We have multiple round tables and long tables and have done weddings with all round tables, all long tables and a great deal of receptions with mixed tables.

Round or Long?

One thing we love to share with our couples is to really think about the guests you will be inviting.  If you’ve ever been to a wedding with all round tables, that means there may be a few individuals sitting at a table with other guests they do not know.  If they’re an outgoing person, that’s not at all a concern!  But for a quieter personality, it can be very intimidating to be at a round table with many others who they don’t know.

A long table is more of an intimate setting; a great spot for those few random couples you invite to your wedding who know YOU, but no one else.  But on the contrary, it can be a bit secluded for an outgoing individual.  Try to be aware of what your guests personalities are like.  It seems like a lot of work, but that quiet individual might walk away from your wedding saying “That was the best wedding I’ve ever been to!” simply because they didn’t feel pressured to talk to others!

We’ve done quite a few weddings with a healthy mix of long and round tables!  Especially when your guest list is nearing our max capacity, it’s helpful to have an open mind when it comes to the layout.


Another thing to consider is your centerpieces.  On a long table, you would be able to do a simple, small decoration.  After plates and glasses are set, there isn’t more than 6 inches to decorate, which can also be quite cost effective!  We’ve had past couples do something as simple as a runner the whole way down through and some small tea lights, or a long and skinny floral arrangement.  There has also been times that a couple chose to just place simple greenery running the length of the table.  The décor for a long table does not have to take a lot of your time because of the simplicity of it.

A round table is great for those huge and gorgeous floral arrangements, or something fun like a game!  The possibilities are truly endless for a round table because of the amount of space you have.  Floral arrangements are common place for a wedding, along with candles.  We’ve had couples bring in small toys and keepsakes from their younger years.  The very last wedding of 2017 had games mixed with candles and greenery at each table.  You can base your décor on the time of year as well, focusing more on greenery and cranberries for your winter wedding and gorgeous tulips for the spring.  Summer brings with it endless possibilities of fresh blooms whereas fall will have the opportunity for pumpkins and leaves.  Sometimes, your décor might be the deciding factor on what tables and layouts you choose!


Head Tables

What do you envision for your wedding day?  Do you want to sit with all of your besties?  Or do you want to sit alone with your new husband?  Do you have a love for old tables?  Are you keeping in tradition and going for the long table that the whole bridal party sits at?  Or maybe something more contemporary like a King’s Table?

Some couples opt to go with the long table with their bridesmaids to the right of them and the groomsman to the left.  This is a very traditional setup and rightfully so!  These people have likely been by your side for a long time and have just stood as witnesses to one of the most important days of your lives.

One of the more common choices by our couples is a sweetheart table.  Appropriately named, this is a spot for the new ‘sweethearts’ to eat their first meal together as husband and wife.  We have a great local company that rents out an antique table for this exact purpose.  If you’re going to do it, what better way that to really make it a focal point of your reception?  Maybe you’d like to do a sweetheart table in the center with longer tables on each side for your bridal party?

One of the newer concepts is a King’s Table.  This table was featured at our Bridal Open House and seats up to 20 people the whole way around.  The couple can choose whether to sit at the middle or at the end and have their entire bridal party or family surround them at a meal where everyone can be involved!  It’s a fun idea to have a new table or borrowed chairs from loved ones for a set up like this since it really is fit for a family.

We hope you learned something new today!  And for all of our brides and grooms, please feel free to always reach out to us when you need help or have a question!

-The Brick Gables Team

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