Room Layout Suggestions with Rectangle (or Mixed) Tables

Written by on August 14, 2012 in Wedding Planning with 0 Comments

room layouts - table shapesThe venue I fell in love with only has 8 ft rectangle tables. The room is also rectangle shaped with a dance floor at one end. How can I set this up so it doesn’t look like a cafeteria? Meghan the bride

Great question. Sometimes we fall in love with the look of a venue — the decor, feel or ambiance is exactly what we pictured. Then the dream is shattered when we find out a detail like table shape is not at all what we pictured. Have no fear! You can set the room layout to make it chic and unique without looking “cafeteria”.

Without knowing all the dimensions and other elements needed for your wedding, I have a bit of a handicap in answering. So, I am going to just give you some examples of different layouts using rectangle tables. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas for your reception.

Herringbone & “V” Layouts

A herringbone layout looks like a herringbone patterned necklace or a forward slash and backward slash ( / \). It allows you to point your tables toward one end of a long, rectangle room — the focal point like your dance floor. A “V” pattern is just the opposite, like a back slash and a forward slash (\/). See diagrams.

rectangle tables in herringbone pattern

rectangle tables v style



You can always push two or more of the tables together (end to end) to create long tables, too. This is a bit cafeteria-ish to me, though, unless you also create a larger shape out of the group.

For instance: you can create large or small squares in groupings, “U” shaped tables with seating on one or both sides, “V’s” with two or more tables and so on…

These are out of the ordinary floor plans and table set ups that will make an impression on your guests as they walk into your reception venue. Some of the set ups also allow the possibility of more creative table decor / centerpieces. For example: you set 7 tables in an open-ended square format but only seat guests on the outside of the square. You have now created a lot larger area for decor because you only need about 15″ in depth for each place setting. That leaves you another 15″ to decorate.

rectangle tables - square shapes


Some other shapes you can create with dimensions of overall shape (not including chairs) –

table shapes - floor plan

To come up with a feasible floor plan, you will need to know all the dimensions of the room, any immovable objects and natural traffic patterns to other areas (restrooms, foyer, cake, buffet, etc…). Then you can just play with some graph paper and pencil or a cad type software program. The standard dimensions of an 8 ft banquet table are 30″ (or 2½’) x 96″ (or 8 ft).

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules. If your venue has or you rent different shaped tables, you have immediately created visual interest in the design — something guests will notice and remember. Get creative!

sample floor plan table shapes

Hope this helps, Meghan!

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About the Author

About the Author: With 20+ years in the wedding and event industry, I have seen a lot of unique, unusual and funky weddings. Every one of them were a journey of discovery and a reflection of the bride and groom. I had a ball and am now passing along some of those pearls of wisdom to today's brides and grooms. A wedding is personal -- it's about the two of you and your relationship -- let's make it as unique and offbeat as you each are! .


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