Round tables vs Rectangle tables for a wedding
Round tables or rectangle tables for your wedding reception? Our first reader question is here! It’s a common one that I often get asked when we start working on floor plans with our clients…
My fiance’ and I are getting married next year at a venue that is basically a big blank slate. We’ve started to talk about what type of tables we want at the wedding: round or long. While I LOVE the look of the super long table, our venue is trying to steer us towards rounds. They seem so….traditional to me. What would you recommend?
Oh, a big blank slate! Sounds like my kind of a venue – one where you need to make all of the design decisions, which can often be overwhelming, but that’s why I’m here. The rounds vs long table debate is one that my clients deal with all the time. Like you, Pinterest has given them a million beautiful inspiration images of super long tables but hasn’t done the same for round tables. Round tables also tend to feel, like you said, traditional, and stuffy, ballroom-like, etc. All the aesthetic feelings that my urban clients are trying to avoid.
What to do? The choice will depend on four things: 1) your budget, 2) your guest count, 3) the size of the space, 4) and aesthetics
Let’s think of this question spatially first: Round tables can seat more guests per square foot. One 60″ round will seat 6-8 guests and one 72″ round will seat 10-12 guests. Compared to a standard 8′ rectangle table that will only seat 8 guests, round tables can seat more people in your space. If your guest count is pushing the max capacity of the space, then round tables will be best in order to seat everyone comfortably. If you have some room to play with on your floor plan, you can do a mix of rectangles and rounds or maybe even all rectangles. This brings us to the budget…
More tables means more money. Every table you add is another centerpiece and another linen. 150 guests will fit at 15 round tables or 18 rectangle tables. The rectangle table option means you are paying for three additional centerpieces, linens, and tables. Something to think about.
Your budget could also be impacted by the availability of tables at your venue. Some venues have tables in-house that they use for events free of charge. These are often round tables. Deciding to use rectangle tables instead means that you need to rent each rectangle table. Again, more money.
Although, some of you will say “hell with the money, I want super long, romantic tables dripping with candlelight.” You might value your need for the visual impact of a long table over the practicality of the round tables. Great! Long tables lend themselves to pretty garlands, photographs that capture the symmetry and angles, hanging installations, overhead florals, and more intimate conversation between guests.
Round table receptions will often be less expensive to decorate, seat more people per square foot, and have a more traditional vibe.
Rectangle table receptions could cost more for the additional tables, will take more floor space to seat the same number of guests, and have a more modern, dinner party type of feeling.
Or, you could do a mix of rectangles and rounds to give the room a lot of variety and visual interest.
A) All Rounds
- Cost effective: fit more people at a table means less tables therefore less centerpieces, some venues have round tables in-house means no rental fees for tables.
- High guest counts: Round tables can “interlock” in a floor plan, which means you can seat more guests per square foot
- Traditional: not as hip as long tables
B) All Rectangles
- Trendy: Get the look of candle light down the table or a super long hanging installation.
- Dinner party feeling: Long tables feel like a big family dinner party
- Costly: You’ll need more tables for the same number of guests as round tables and might need to rent all the tables.
- Can’t fit large weddings: large guest counts won’t fit at all rectangle tables in smaller venues
A) Rounds and Rectangles
- Best of both worlds: Some guests as long tables, like the bridal party, then everyone else at round tables.
- Variety: Gives the reception space a lot of visual variety.
- Technical: You’ll need knowledge of floor plans and flow to make this work. Your planner or caterer can best advise you on how to set up the room with a mix of tables.
- Can’t fit large weddings: large guest counts won’t fit at all rectangle tables in smaller venues
Let’s talk sizes. Round tables traditionally come in 60″ and 72″. That’s the measurement of the diameter of the table. A 60″ table will seat up to 8 guests comfortably and a 72″ will seat up to 1o guests comfortably. Those numbers could be pushed up to 10 and 12, respectively, although people are going to be squashed. If you are using chargers at the place settings, keep the guest counts per table to the lower end of 8 people at a 60″ and 10 people at a 72″ round.
Rectangle tables come in 8′ long segments. Put together a few 8′ long tables and, tada, you have a super long table. Rectangles tables are all about the width. 30″ wide tables are the most common, BUT, they are SO NARROW. You can’t fit literally any centerpieces on a 30″ wide table except some garland and maybe bud vases. Compotes? Forget it.
42″ or 48″ wide rectangle tables are where you want to be. These widths leave plenty of space for pretty florals, candles, a myriad of glassware, bread bowls, table numbers, etc. The wider tables are also required for family style service, since you need room to put the platters down.
There you have it. The ins and outs of the round vs rectangle debate. Which table shape are you using at your wedding?
5 Day Challenge: Design Your Wedding on Pinterest
A majority of my clients come to me with big Pinterest boards full of wonderful inspiration. They’ve spent hours upon hours searching for said inspiration through the troves of that site pinning away until the early morning hours.
But, they are lost. They don’t know how to use all of that inspiration that they found or how to organize it or if they really even like it anymore. I mean, scroll through your pins from even 9 months ago and you’ll see that most are no longer relevant.
This is where my skills as an event designer come in. I whittle their giant board into a smaller, more concise, intentional board to use as we make decor decisions. Since I’m a pro, that pinterst board turns into a fully designed mood board with color chips.
One 8.5″ x 11″ letter size page of ten inspiration images and some color chips from a giant, out of control, overwhelming Pinterest board.
Now, I’ve written a free course on how to use pinterest to design your wedding.
In 5 days, you will learn:
- How to efficiently search Pinterst for the best inspiration images
- Which wedding and non-wedding accounts I find my favorite images on
- Tricks for organizing an overwhelming Pinterest board
- How to create a smaller, cohesive, design board to make decor decisions off of
- Designer’s practices for choosing an aesthetic and color story
The worst feeling when planning your wedding is decision fatigue. That happens when you have too much visual inspiration (hello giant pinterest board) and are overwhelmed with decisions on wedding decor.
Sign up for this FREE 5 day course on How to Use Pinterest to Design Your Wedding.
Each day you’ll receive:
- An email straight to your inbox
- Action steps on my no-fail approach to using Pinterest to create a beautiful wedding design board
- Encouragement straight from my lips to your ears
Pop in your email below to start learning about how to efficiently use Pinterest for your wedding:
Free 5 day course
How to Design Your Wedding on Pinterest
Colorful Geometric Wedding at 26Bridge
Hold on to your iced coffees, people. This one is worth a read and a slowwwww scroll.
Risa and Ross were married in a colorful explosion of flowers and geometrics at 26Bridge in Dumbo, Brooklyn. In what is basically my heaven, they said their vows surrounded by the most beautiful florals and hexagons.
Planned by Jove Meyer Events, I was hired to create three mind blowing geometric installation moments throughout the industrial, warehouse space of 26Bridge. This was one of those projects that I simply said “yes” to everything, “okay” to all ideas, “let’s do it” to anything crazy we thought up. I was so excited about the overall design scope of the project, the chance to work at 26Bridge, and this couple’s love for design and for each other, that I decided we’ll figure it out later.
And that we did.
We figured out how to hang 400 painted hexagons with custom sheer backs all glued together from a 30′ high railing.
We created art installations. True sculptures of creativity using paper tubes covered in gold mylar that were woven together into geometric orbs. These orbs undulated down both sides of the brick venue.
The escort card wall, made from the lids of the 400 hexagon boxes mentioned above, incorporated the custom watercolor pattern from their invitations from Swiss Cottage Designs with their color palette of bright yellow, orange, and coral.
Inbal Sivan Photography provided these remarkable images. This wedding is one of my proudest to date. We were lucky to have it featured in Martha Stewart Weddings print edition, on newsstands now!
Their faces in these photographs! I want every couple to have this look of wonder and beauty and awe and pure happiness when they see their venue all decked out for the first time. Behind them in the above photo, you can see a peek of the hexagon installation we hung over the windows. More below!
Here are the geometric, undulating, art installations. Our goals with this part of the installation was to incorporate more of the geometry and angles that Risa loves while breaking up the brick walls of the industrial space. We did that by designing sculptures of white and gold tubes that we hung to look like they were floating on the walls.
The final look achieved our initial vision. I’m really proud of how these installations turned out.
This section of the geometric sculpture installation turned into the photobooth backdrop. The sculpture undulated down the wall and eventually created a 10′ x 10′ angular backdrop for the photobooth. This was one of the coolest backdrops I’m ever designed. I’m not a big fan of the traditional pipe and drape photobooth backdrops – I’d prefer it to seamlessly be in the space, playing off the rest of the design in the room
Thank you to Risa and Ross for having us create the geometric space of your dreams! Tomorrow, I’m going to share a little behind-the-scenes of the design process, sketches, and install of these incredible art pieces.
Venue: 26 Bridge / Planning + Design: Jove Meyer Events / Photographer: Inbal Sivan / Caterer: Real Foods / Videographer: Forged in the North / Florist: Putnam & Putnam / Decor: Michelle Edgemont / Cake: Nine Cakes / Stationery: Swiss Cottage Designs /Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals / Specialty Rentals: Patina Rentals / Tabletop Rentals: Borrowed Blu