Wedding Reception Forum

36 inches, 6 people?

SO due to some issues with my venue, it turns out that we're going to have 36 inch round tables with 6 people at them. (I'll spare you the details, I'm livid right now.)

I used the trusty C= pi x d formula and that works out to about 18-19" inches per guest.

Is this even going to work?

UPDATE: It's buffet stations, and there's no centerpieces. Also, they told us AFTER we sent all of the invitations, so we can't cut the guest list.

Re: 36 inches, 6 people?

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_36-inches-6-people?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:94bcd994-493c-49f9-9e83-a780efc6a8e6Post:7b19f231-e86c-4191-a350-f7efa8db4693">36 inches, 6 people?</a>:
    [QUOTE]SO due to some issues with my venue, it turns out that we're going to have 36 inch round tables with 6 people at them. (I'll spare you the details, I'm livid right now.) I used the trusty C= pi x d formula and that works out to about 18-19" inches per guest. Is this even going to work?
    Posted by AFP07[/QUOTE]

    No it's not!  That is crazy squished.  48" would sit 6 just fine, but please don't try to put 6 people at such a tiny table.  There will be no room for centerpieces, dinner service, drinks, etc. 
  • Each guest needs a minimum of 24".  You might be able to squeeze in five, but six isn't going to work. 
  • That would be way too tight. Can you rent more tables from an outside source? Is there anything in your contract about the table sizes?
  • edited February 2012
    What happened is that the venue told us that they could do up to 90 guests with cocktail tables, and 56 seated. I clarified (and have it in my notes) that he said 56 because my family would go nuclear having to stand at cocktail tables. Now, we just emailed them to get the table floor plan, and he said that 56 was ONLY for plated dinners, and since we're doing stations, the seating capacity is lower.

    They never said anything about the seating capacity being lower for stations, because if they had, I wouldn't have chosen stations. I would have picked another venue altogether, because their plated dinners are too pricey.

    The contract only has payment and damage policies, but it does have our estimated guest list at 55, so there's evidence that  "seating is a must-have" and "we have this many guests" happened in the same conversation.
  • I wanted to do stations, but my venue said that stations = coaktail tables instead of seated as well, so I nixed the stations. 

    Have you tried asking if they could offer an altered seating menu, since they miscommunicated? I had my venue cut the cost of the seated by taking out the dessert option that came with it. Maybe they would be able to come up with a compromise that fits your budget.
  • Is there anyway the venue can bring in rectangular tables instead?  They seem to fit more people in limited space.

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  • LauraChristinLauraChristin member
    First Comment
    edited February 2012
    Our belly bar cocktail tables were 30 inches. I can't imagine fitting 6 people around a table just 6 inches larger than that. I think you need to see them in person. How would 6 chairs fit around a table that small?


    ETA: I google searched your question and I found several websites stating that a 36" table seats 2-4 people.
  • Oh dear.  I have a 42" table at home, it only seats 4 people, there is NO WAY it could seat 6.  There would not be room for all the plates or elbow room.
  • Oh that sucks. I'd be on the phone with them first thing tomorrow and ask them how they're going to make this right. It seems the only way to fit the guests the way you anticipated is to have the plated meal. I'd start with asking/demanding that they do that for the same price as the stations and go from there.
  • Can a few of the cocktail tables be used as dining tables?  Insist the venue bring in high seated chairs to accommodate those that need to have their meal at the taller cocktail tables.
  • Our sweetheart table is 36 inches. With two people, decorations, and whatnot, I was worried if our dinner plates would fit. I couldn't imagine six people trying to fit on the table. 

    I agree with the PP who mentioned rectangular tables. They are a MUCH better way to seat people in a small space. You would only need like 7 of them. Maybe see if you can bring in your own tables? 8 foot banquet tables can be rented for around 10 bucks.
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  • Ditto tenofcups.  Call the venue and ask them how they are going to make it right.
  • edited February 2012
    So the venue apologized for their mistake (at least) and we're going to work things out on Monday in a meeting. Right now, the three options are:

    1) Switch from a "stations" meal to a plated dinner, and rent 60" tables.

    2) Rent 48" tables, and squish the stations and Tetris everything until it fits.

    3) Leave everything as-is with the 36" tables. Five of my coworkers who are invited to the wedding blocked it out on the break table with plates and printer paper, and all of them said they liked it better than the big tables, because it let everyone sit close enough to talk.
  • #1 and #2 are your best options, with #1 the best solution.  At the 36" tables, people will not only be close enough to talk, but they'll be close enough to eat each other's food.  Your co-workers are not space planners or event planners.
  • Remember that a "catering" place setting is bigger than the average place setting - it's not just a plate, knife and fork. It's generally a dinner plate (or charger), salad fork, app fork if there's a plated appetizer, dinner fork, knife, cake fork, coffee spoon, coffee cup and saucer, bread plate, water glass, champagne glass if you're doing a toast ... and where I work, all that goes on the table for a stations party as well as for a plated dinner. Add the random stuff they put on the tables (butter dish, S&P shakers, bread basket, sugar caddy) and you put on the tables (table number, centerpiece, other decor) and your guests will have plates in their laps for dinner. There's no way a 36" table can accomodate 6 people. I'd be politely but firmly raising hell with my caterer at this point.
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  • edited February 2012
    We're not having a catering place setting, we're doing stations, so everyone is just going to get the plate the server puts their food on and a clean knife and fork at each stage.

    From who I've talked to, it seems like an age divide. The "kids" (aka my friends) think  a buffet-style smushfest sounds fun because a lot of the catered parties thrown at work or for weddings are more casual than a formal wedding, and most of them hate formal weddings.

    The "grown ups" (aka my parents and their friends) are going to be complaining about all of the luxuries that they are "entitled" to at weddings, and that I don't have any of them. Literally, one of my mom's friends went to a $125,000 wedding that was featured on TV, so all I keep hearing about is how they want limos and ice sculptures and makeup artists and unlimited top-shelf liquor and jewelery as gifts.
  • If you can make #2 work that would be my suggestion (I'm assuming option 1 will cost you a considerable sum in extras, yes?). I'd rather the venue feel a little squished than the tables themselves. I literally can't imagine 6 people aruond a 36 inch table; I'm honestly surprised it's possible.
    Lizzie
  • That's great that you can make 6 plates fit but can you make six CHAIRS fit??
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