The table plan for your wedding can be as much of a minefield as the guest list itself! What type of table layout will you have – round, long, U-shape?! Who do you seat close to top table, and who do you seat furthest away? Who won’t mind being further away because they are closer to the bar, or to an exit so their children can go outside to play? How do you split a large group, and who do you seat individual guests with? All these hurdles have to be overcome before you can even begin to think about the fun stuff – table centres and decorations!
If you’re a bit of a detail freak like me, and enjoy a challenge, maybe you’ll relish the thought of solving the puzzle, or maybe the thought of it fills you with dread. Whichever category you fall into, your dilemma will be the same, but rest assured, most people will just be happy to be at your wedding and will be so engrossed in what a fabulous time they’re having, that they will barely think about where they have been placed in the room. On top of this, the beauty of our fantastic barns is that unless you are at absolute full capacity, no tables really feel that far away from the top table, and even then, as long as they are seated with people they know and are having a good time, they are very unlikely to mind. Another tip is to start planning early, remember that you can always edit your plan as any late RSVPs come in, but it’s sensible not to leave this task to the last minute so that you feel rushed making all of these decisions. It’s also always best to check the capacity and layout for your chosen table style before you start to plan, and we have lots of different seating plan templates that we can send over to you. Whatever layout you decide on, just make sure that you have those really special people seated closest to you – it’s your day and you should be surrounded by those you love best.
If you are thinking of round tables, you can seat groups of differing sizes on different size tables without it looking odd in the room. Once tables are set out, clothed and laid up, no one will notice that they are different sizes, or that they have a different number of guests on them. We have 5ft rounds and 6ft rounds, seating up to 8 comfortably and up to 10 comfortably (or up to 12 at a squeeze), respectively.
The light at the end of the tunnel is that once you’ve completed the plan, you can start thinking about the really fun stuff – table decorations! Will you have big statement pieces, or small beautiful creations? Will you use fresh flowers or will you use crates, vintage books and gin bottles? Will you do it yourself, or will you use a supplier? The beauty of using a supplier is that you won’t have all of the items left over to take home again (although of course you can always sell them on to another bride afterwards). Your table centres are absolutely down to personal choice, and depends heavily on the theming of your wedding. Large or small, low or tall, all work really well and can create just as much of an impact whether from a distance or closer up. If you are undecided, you could go for a mixture of the two and have the best of both worlds – it can create a lovely look to alternate tall and low table centres on every other table.
Another consideration for table centres is the amount of space they will take up on the table, and what else will be in the space. As standard, there will usually be at least 2 bottles of wine (red and white), water, 4 glasses per guest (along with cutlery, side plates, napkins), salt and pepper, bread baskets, family serve vegetables (bowls of seasonal veg placed on each table for the main course), along with anything else specific to your wedding, such as table numbers, place cards, favours, so the best thing is to keep the base size of table centres to a minimum (whilst ensuring that they are stable enough to remain standing for the duration of your wedding!) to ensure there is plenty of space on tables without your guests feeling crowded. We cannot allow naked flames (fully covered flames are fine) or alcoholic favours, but almost anything else goes!
Take inspiration from sites like Pinterest. Pinterest is my absolute go-to for ideas about anything at all – house decorating, kids activities, furniture, garden planning, you name it, it’s on there, and there are literally thousands of examples of wedding decorations and table centres in a myriad of different colours, sizes, shapes and styles. Use and abuse it would be my advice, see what others have done and use any elements that appeal to you. Create a mood board of anything you love and see what your overriding styles are. The gallery on our website is also worth a good old browse, full of ideas from stunning weddings onsite, so that you can see specifically what works in the barns. But really, let your imagination be the limit on this one and have fun with it!
We are always here to help, and love having new and interesting ideas bounced off us – we’re a fairly creative bunch! Our wonderful team are well versed in what works and what doesn’t, so always feel free to come to us for advice on any questions you have or to see if we think your ideas will work in our beautiful barn venues.