Feasting menu's are fast becoming the preferred style of dining for couples planning their wedding reception, and it's easy to see why. This communal style of dining is perfect for creating a relaxed and intimate ambience, as guests are encouraged to help themselves to a variety of food in the form of shared platters placed in the middle of a table. But while feasting menus are a great option for dining, it does mean that the reception table settings and decor need to be considered thoughtfully in order to accomodate for this. So the question is.... how do you make your tables look beautiful, while also being practical for your style of dining? Based on our experience we have compiled our top 5 tips for feasting style wedding tables below!
CHECK YOUR TABLES
It may sound obvious but if you are planning on a feasting menu the first thing you want to check is the width of your tables. If your venue comes included with trestle tables, make sure you double check the measurements of these. Most standard trestle tables are 76cm wide which is going to be too narrow to allow for a feasting menu. Ideally your table should be between 86cm - 110cm wide so that they are wide enough for your platters but not so wide that you lose the intimacy between your guests.
The best piece of advice I have for couples who may be concerned about making their space look and feel beautiful with less room to play with on the tables is to look up!! By incorporating a hanging installation, whether it be bunches of ferns or strings of festoon lighting, you can transform the entire space into something amazing and the best part is you can free up plenty of room on your tables.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Dont overdo it with the table decor - you want to keep things clean and simple if you are having a feasting menu to allow for dinner service to flow seamlessly. It goes without saying that some decor isnt going to be suited for banquet style dining - foliage garlands that run the length of the table or hundreds of scattered tealights are probably not going to be so practical. It's best to work in clusters - either one large cluster (eg. a floral arrangement and a couple of tealights) in the centre of the table, or two medium size clusters per table at each third, to leave some large surface areas available for food to be grouped together. Think about the things you can add to your decor that won't take up extra space, eg. instead of using charger plates to add detail to the tablescape, invest in some beautiful cutlery or linen instead.
CONDENSE YOUR PLACE SETTINGS
Think about the little things you can do to free up extra room on your table. Instead of placing your cutlery either side of the plate, bundle the knife and fork together and sit them on top of the plate along with your menu and napkin. The same goes for your guest favours - if you have bulky favours like jam jars or candles, it could be worth allocating a seperate table for favours for guests to pick up on their way out, rather than trying to find space for these on your tablescape.
DO A MOCK UP
You may have it all worked out in your head but to avoid any stressful moments on the day of set-up, grab the measurements of your tables, crockery, and any vases or other decor you are using, and do a mock up of your table setting so that you can see exactly how much space you have to work with. Having a physical mock up will make it really easy for you to play around with your place settings and decor to find the most practical solution for your tables.