A Guide to Wedding Reception Tables

A Guide to Wedding Reception Tables

A wedding reception is a colorful part of the big day that the couple along with their friends and family look forward to. It takes a lot of planning and decision-making to make the event one of your dreams as it takes a lot of work and could be draining. After picking the reception venue, the next big question is the look the room will adopt for the event.

Wedding Ceremony

You need to plan the seating chart or seating arrangement, table arrangement, table décor, and several other elements that will set the joyful tone of the wedding day celebration. Having a perfect wedding reception table layout is important if you are planning to create a cozy and joyful atmosphere. Selecting wedding tables could however be an overwhelming task with the many options available.

The most popular wedding tables are round, rectangular, and square tables with each option fitting different styles and settings. Even with these table shape options, there are subgroups within them from which you can choose depending on the style you want to create.

Also, the number of guests you are expecting at the reception would determine the type of table to be selected for maximum space optimization. The guest count will help you know the number of guests you want seating at each table thereby determining the table size and shape to fit in the venue.

Furthermore, the venue's size and floor plan would determine the kind of table shape to fit in them. If the venue is large and bland, you would want to make the space look cozier by using tables that would have this effect.

Wedding reception venue

Also, planning the table and seating arrangement for your reception would require you to consider social distancing protocols due to the pandemic. Once you have an understanding of the various options of reception tables available, you can then select your choice based on the factors discussed above. We have compiled some awesome reception tables in this article that are worth considering for your big day.

Round tables

These are the most popular wedding reception tables as they fit any room style and décor. Circular round tables are great options for receptions as they can fit any guest size comfortably and finding the right tablecloth is not a problem as there are countless designs and sizes available in the market.

Outdoor wedding reception with round tables
Outdoor wedding reception with round tables

The standard 60-inch and 72-inch sizes are usually available readily and they can fit between 8-10 guests comfortably while the smaller 36-inch and 48-inch sizes are for 2-6 guests so you have a lot of options to select from. So, whether you are considering an indoor or outdoor reception, round tables are great options for creating a family-style look especially when shorter floral arrangements are used so guests can see each other clearly and converse easily.

Rectangular tables

Rectangle table with candelabras

Also called banquet tables, rectangular tables are great for both popular option outdoor and indoor receptions as they create an extravagant look. With various lengths to choose from, these tables can seat between 4-10 guests at a time depending on how intimate you want each table to be. Using an oversized rectangular table helps when following social distancing protocols and also creates more space for table runners, charger plates, glassware, and other items that might be placed on the table.

With a shorter floral arrangement, guests can interact with each other since there is no blockage. Also, if the reception is an intimate one with only a few wedding party guests, the bride and groom can add a table to join the rectangular tables which even makes the party interesting.

Outdoor wedding reception with rectangle tables
Rectangle table for a purple-themed wedding reception

However, when using rectangular tables, more servers might have to be employed so all guests at a table can be served at once and this could be a problem where the table is long and there are more guests than the servers can handle. So, you can deal with this by bringing in more servers or using smaller tables that can be served at once.

Sweetheart tables

Rectangle sweetheart table



These are smaller-sized tables that could be round, rectangular, or square made just for the bride and groom. Once the vows are exchanged, they can be seated at this head table to give them some privacy on their big day and also enjoy some special time together. 




The sweetheart table is usually placed facing the guests thereby making the couple's table a focal point in the room.

Indoor wedding reception round sweetheart table

However, the sweetheart table should not be placed too far away from guests so they do not feel disconnected and once they feel this way, they tend to get up and go to the couple's table thereby disrupting the couple's much-needed alone time after the long day.

Square Tables

Square tables are great for intimate and cozy wedding receptions as it allows a small group of guests at each table. With a larger surface area, square tables allow larger floral arrangements or centerpieces without disrupting conversation among guests. They also fit into any type of space thereby making them versatile and applicable to any reception venue.



However, several rental companies do not stock them in large numbers so they might not be very easy to find when compared to rectangular or round tables. Also, due to their pointed edges, they might not work for small reception venues to prevent injuries.

Outdoor wedding reception with square center table

Serpentine tables

They are great for outdoor wedding receptions as the tables are long and curved to create a bold statement. It also draws attention away from large reception venues by becoming a focal point in the venue. So if you have a short guest list, serpentine tables are great options as they are large enough to fit all guests at an intimate wedding.

Mix and Match tables

You can spice up the reception's atmosphere by mixing tables of varying shapes and sizes to create a more refined and unique look. The venue would look customized this way so guests would think the space was created just for you. You can mix rectangular tables with squares or even arrange the tables in a custom and creative style. 

Outdoor wedding reception rectangle table setup
Wedding reception with mixed table styles
Pink and green wedding reception rectangle table setup
pink wedding reception round table setup

You could also mix tablecloths to make the layout more inviting. This design also impacts guests as it encourages them to mingle with each other.

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