Friday, April 3, 2009

Reception Space Planning

What do you do when you're having 200 guests in a room that seats 400 and you don't want to divide the space.

  1. Add a lounge - either in a quiet corner for conversation, or around the dance floor so guests have a place to rest their bodies or purses between dances.
  2. Add some architecture - columns, gates, or other elements - like trees - can take up a lot of space when brought away from the walls and into the room.
  3. Use square or rectangular tables - these take up more space than a round table.
  4. Seat fewer guests per table.
  5. Change up the configuration:
Here is a layout I created for a party.
  • We used clusters of rounds (15 - 18 guests) and 'barbells'. Note - this uses more linens, but less centerpieces.
  • The dance floor was two levels and huge. The teens loved it!

Here is a 'spoke' layout. The kings tables radiate from the central table which seated the couple and their families.

Do you have any space or layout dilemmas? Leave a comment and I'll try to help!

Thanks for reading.


missbliss said...

Dear Isha,

I went to view my reception area for the second time today. It has two sections, and the two can be partitioned off (which could be useful as we have a caleigh band coming - in the middle of the reception!!). The room, unpartitioned, seats 120 but we will only have around 60 guests.

How could we keep the intimacy while still preserving such a big area for what will be very energetic dancing?

I love your site, it's so beautiful. I'm gathering lots of ideas for my (English fayre themed) wedding. While I'm loving the creative side, I'm totally stuck when it come to the practicalities of where to seat people! Any advice very gratefully received.


isha said...


I love your ideas and your blog! I thing the long 'kings' tables would be perfect for your theme. Five 'spokes' (see bottom image) of 12 could radiate from a central sweetheart table. Floor candelabra and/or trees could fill in between the spokes.

You could also surround the dance floor (leaving two openings) and then do a long head table - again, it works with the theme.

I would not partition the room unless is could be opened gracefully. Perhaps pipe and drape or truss and drape would be nice and the drapery could be pulled back when time for the band!

Hope this helps. E-mail me if you would like a basic diagram.



missbliss said...

Dear Isha,

Thank you so much for getting back to me, your advice is something to think about once I get back into the space.

I love the idea of getting some of our own drapes as it would be highly inelegant to be scratching wooden screens on metal wheels during the reception!

Planning for me is coming along, trying to reign in my 'love-everything-want-it-all' predisposition. Taking cues from your site, I've given myself a focus: that I can show people.

Thanks again :)