Hiring tables for your wedding is definitely one of the first things you want to tick off your list (they book out like crazy, believe us!) but it can be so tricky to know exactly how many tables you will need to seat your guests comfortably, especially when you are organizing this between 6 – 12 months in advance. Our most frequently asked question is hands down – ‘how many guests do your tables seat, how many tables will I need for ‘x’ amount of guests’. It is definitely something that you want to take the time to think about properly – too many tables and you will lose the sense of intimacy if you are too generous with space, but not enough tables and you may have some floating guests without a seat!
So to give you the short answer - our wooden dining tables are 2.4m x 90cm (an ideal size as they are wide enough for feasting but still intimate enough that your guests don’t have to yell across the table!). Our tables seat 10 guests each, so 4 each side and then 1 either end. However this changes depending on your floor plan style, place settings and other variables, so make sure you take the following points into consideration to help create a comfortable seating plan with the perfect amount of tables!
DECIDE ON YOUR FLOOR PLAN
This is our first response to clients asking how many tables they will need – our tables seat 10 guests each BUT what are you thinking for your floor plan as your table requirements are going to be hugely dependant on this. Are you having a separate bridal table, as you will need to allocate 1, 2 or sometimes even 3 tables for this depending on how big your bridal party is. Are you doing individual tables, or long rows? Are you comfortable with people sitting at the heads of tables, or would you prefer using the sides only? If you have made a decision on the style of floor plan you will be using then this will make the table booking process much clearer and easier.
THINK ABOUT THE VENUE SPACE
Make sure you take into consideration the venue space that you have to work with before you make a definite decision on your floor plan and table requirements to make sure that everything is going to fit comfortably. Venues come in a variety of different shapes and sizes so one floor plan may be more suited to your venue than others. A good tip is to grab the measurements of the space and then pencil in the measurements of the tables. Ask your venue for images of previous events so you can see what works well. And don’t forget to allow an appropriate amount of space in between the tables for catering purposes!
CONSIDER YOUR TABLE SETTINGS
Think about how much space your place settings are going to take up. Are you having a simple feasting menu or buffet with one small plate per guest and one set of cutlery? In this case you may not need to space your guests out so much. But if you are having an alternative drop style menu or have extra décor planned (think charger plates, three kinds of glassware, entrée and main cutlery, spoons, guest favours etc) then each place setting is going to take up more room and you will want to be a little bit more generous with space. For detailed settings like these, we recommend working on 8 guests per table, without using the heads of tables.
To explain in more detail, check out these examples (these floor plans are specific to the size of our wooden dining tables).
This is an easy one! You can either seat 10 guests per table, or 8 if you don’t want to seat guests at the heads. So for 80 guests, you’ll need 8 tables as an absolutely minimum, or 10 tables if you want to seat just 8 per table.
When doing long rows, you can still work on 10 guests per table, as you can seat 4 each side, as well as guests in the join between tables, and then guests at the heads of tables. So for 80 guests, you could still use 8 tables as an absolute minimum. But if you want more space, work on 8 guests per table and don’t seat guests in the joins or at the ends.
The other point to consider is if you want your long rows to look even. Say you have 70 guests, you will need a minimum of 7 tables. But 7 tables doesn’t split up evenly, so unless you are happy to have uneven rows then you might want to add an extra table to make things look the same visually.
U-shaped table layouts are visually beautiful and great for an intimate setting but they are a little trickier when it comes to your table requirements as you do lose some seats in the corners, as well as in the horizontal section that faces inwards linking the two rows.
Don't forget to consider that your RSVPS may change closer to the date - it can be a good idea to reserve an extra table just in case (check your hire company's policy in regards to this). You can get in touch with our friendly team at anytime to talk through your table requirements. Now that you have your tables sorted, check out our tips for choosing the perfect chairs for your wedding!