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How to choose the right table layout

If you’re planning a seated wedding reception or gala evening, your choice of tables and floor plan can complete change your guests’experience. It’s also something you should pin down as early in the planning as possible as it has a lot of implications for other elements of your event –including décor, dining and dancing.

At MPR Hiring, we offer a wide range of different tableand seating optionsto suit the overall vision for your event. Here’s our guide to what to consider when it comes to choosing a table layout for your event:

Guest numbers and venue size

As soon as you know the size of your guest list and venue, it’s time to think about the tables. If you want a seated dinner, you’ll need to make sure you accommodate all your guests –and have at least one extra table for late RSVP and ‘just in case’. Get the exact dimensions of your venue or marquee and plot it out using the dimensions of the different table options with the exact number of guests per table. Ask the venue or service provider for previous pictures of events and example floor plans.

Individual, long rows or u-shape?

Rectangular and round tables can be used as individual tables, while rectangular tables can be joined together to create long rows or a u-shape banquet style layout. If you’re opting for round tables, your floor plan can be less linear.

When plotting a floor plan with round tables for guests, start with the positioning and shape of the bridal or main table, the bar and any food or buffet stations. Plan the positioning of your guest tables around those all-important areas. Round tables also generally allow for a bigger dance floor.

Rectangular tables are generally able to accommodate more people in smaller spaces and allow for more versatility. When joining them together to form long rows, just make sure you consider the width of your chairs and avoid putting any place settings in the ‘joins’.

No matter the configuration, always remember to allow space around the tables for catering purposes. As a general rule, try to keep 1.5m between tables.

Think about the vibe

When you think about your event, do you want it to be more casual and intimate? Or do you want a more formal, classic feel? Long tables provide more intimacy and lend themselves to communal feast-style dining, while round tables are better suited to events with full dinner service or a traditional buffet.

Dining style

If you envision long tables with harvest or feast style dining, it’s important to consider the width of the tables you choose. You’ll need them to be wide enough to have place settings on either side of the table, as well as a spread of delicious food down the centre.

For classic buffet dining, you can get away with smaller place settings and just have small side plates on the tables. A multiple-course, plated meal will need space for all the necessary cutlery and glassware at each place setting.

The overall vision

Your choice of tables also impacts the type of table styling you can have. Round tables are ideal for large, dramatic centrepieces. Long tables on the other hand, are better suited to creative use of table runners, garlands of greenery and hanging florals that don’t disrupt the flow of conversation.

Speak to the experts

At MPR Hiring, we work with our clients to ensure they have everything they need to complete their vision for their event. We’d love to discuss your ideas and help you find the ideal solutions. Get in touchto view our full equipment hire catalogue and get a tailored quote.