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Reception Ideas

How much space to allow between tables?

Trying to visualize our space and determine how many seats we can squeeze in. Assuming you have an 5-foot round table that seats 8 people, how much square footage should we allow for placing each table/chairs? If you have rectangular tables (8 feet), how much more room per table do we need to allow for people to move around?

Re: How much space to allow between tables?

  • I would leave at about 6-7 feet between tables so that people can comfortably push their chairs out and walk to/from their table. Talk to your venue about this also. They should have some pointers on what works well and what's way too many.

    I went to a wedding where the B&G tried to crunch too many people into one space and it sucked. People had to get up so others could get to/from their seats, larger guests were totally embarrassed when they kept bumping into seated guests, and everyone was grumbling about it. It was really crappy.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • itzMSitzMS member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited November 2013
    Your venue doesn't have table set up plans from past events?!??

    Round tables are far superior for a social event. Scratch the rectangle table idea.

    Just use this website.

    http://www.banquettables.pro/how-many-tables-fit-in-a-room
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I think @southernbelle0915's suggestion of 6-7 feet is correct. 

    Here's how I figure it:

    Most chairs take up 10-12" of space regularly. If someone pushes it back, you'd probably double that space (so about 2 feet) - so you need a minimum of four feet between tables - but that doesn't account for space for someone to walk, and I'd add another 2 -3 feet for that. 

    That brings you to between 6 and 7 feet. 

    If it helps you figure out space, most wheelchairs require about 32" (2' 8") of open space to maneuver. Standard doorways are 36" (3')


  • kitty8403kitty8403 member
    1000 Comments 250 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited November 2013
    itzMS said:

    Your venue doesn't have table set up plans from past events?!??

    Round tables are far superior for a social event. Scratch the rectangle table idea.

    Just use this website.

    http://www.banquettables.pro/how-many-tables-fit-in-a-room

    Nope. We get X number of tables and X number of chairs all stacked up in a corner and yours truly gets to figure out how to make it all work. Thanks for that link!!
  • BTW the reason I asked about both--the venue comes with both. Half and half. Irritating to design around, yes?
  • Rectangle tables are something I used to really dislike...but if you do estate seating, it is really a very elegant look, and uses less space than either round (my second favorite) or traditional rectangle banquet style, which can often feel (to me) like a school cafeteria. I like the long, clean line of the design. It can look either elegant or rustic, depending on your decor, and gives a family feeling, with everyone at the "same" table. Google image "estate seating weddings." There are some beautiful pictures.
  • We had rectangle tables at our wedding and we loved it, and actually got a lot of compliments that it was easier to talk to all the guests. This post has a bunch of suggestions for table layouts: http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/08/wedding-seating-chart-tips/. I also used the Wedding Wire seating chart planner to try different layouts.
  • I also dislike rectangular tables, but if you can fit more people and it means better use of space, it might be a good idea for your reception.
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  • Having enough room for guests to get up and walk around (to the bar, to the bathroom, to get up to say hello during bride/groom table visits, etc.) is one of the things I'm really focused on. I hate when you can't get to the bathroom without having to squeeze between seats and make people move. Luckily the venue will be working with us on table arrangements.

    As for the round vs. rectangular thing, I like a mixture of both. I think it can look really classy. All round tables is what almost every wedding does, and is completely expected. 
  • I'm surprised they don't have a plan. It can be a big hassle, if you end up putting in too many tables.
  • We have the same type of diy venue with both 5' rounds and 6' rectangular tables provided.  
    I found this online tool to be very helpful when planning out our space.  We decided to go with a mix of (mostly) rectangular tables and (some) rounds.  You can seat more people using rectangular tables, and when placed at an angle can create a visually interesting space.


    You want to leave extra aisle space for entrance (e.g., grand entrance if you are doing one) and space around your head/sweetheart table, as well as all the exits. More in-between table space is also needed if you are doing a plated dinner as well.
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      Wedding Countdown Ticker
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