Talking About Event Planning

Be A Square Peg—5 Alternatives To Traditional Wedding Reception Seating

If you're looking for a fun alternative to traditional wedding reception layout, there is good news. Modern brides and grooms have a lot more choices when it comes to table and guest placement than they may think. Here are 5 great options to change up a traditional reception in any wedding venue.

Family Style. Family style seating involves replacing traditional round tables with longer rectangle tables—often placed in long rows. Family style tables add a great symmetry to the layout. They also help encourage conversation and make a wedding dinner seem more intimate.

Square It Up. The simple act of trading round reception tables for square seating arrangements can bring a new, crisp feeling to any reception. While you may have to spend a little more on linens, this single change can be an easy fix for finding a more formal, modern style.

Mix-and-Match. Rather than rely on one single style of table, you can also choose to incorporate two or three different styles. For example, placing a pair of long, rectangular tables in an "X" shape in the center allows you to complement the look with round or square tables placed around the sides. Mix-and-Match gives you alternatives when it comes to seating your guests, too.

Lounge Furnishings. If you really want to create a unique and casual reception, skip the formal tables-and-chairs setup entirely. Instead, opt for seating lounges sprinkled around the venue. These lounges can be any style you prefer, and often include comfy spots like love seats, upholstered chairs, parfait tables, and coffee tables. Lounge style seating encourages people to mingle and relax, and it works well for any size reception.

Skip the Sweetheart Table. Couples who want to be able to share their day with loved ones may also enjoy a layout that gets rid of the traditional "sweetheart table". Rather than sharing their meals at the front of the reception at a separate table, consider having different courses at different tables among the guests. Include in your seating chart reserved chairs for the bridal couple at tables designated for family or close friends, then share a particular course with each. Your guests will enjoy the intimacy of this seating arrangement, and the bride and groom can interact with loved ones on their busy day.

By choosing any of these alternative table layouts, you can design a wedding reception that will leave special memories both for you and for your guests for years to come. For more information, contact companies like The Manoa Grand Ballroom.