Family Style dinner at rectangular tables

posted 3 years ago in Reception
  • poll: What shape table would you use for family-style dinner service at a reception?
    Rectangular : (7 votes)
    39 %
    Round : (9 votes)
    50 %
    A mix of shapes : (2 votes)
    11 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    689 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2014 - Legare Waring House

    We’re doing a family style dinner and our wedding planner decided to use the 8′ x 4′ rather than 8′ x 30″ tables to accomodate everything. 

    So I think that they have a point on the space…BUT if that’s what you want, you should have that. If that’s what you want, you may have to rent them yourself, though, it seems.

    Post # 3
    Member
    1248 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    We had what our venue called banquet at the table, so pretty much family style. Our rectangular tables (seated up to 10) worked fine – we had 3 types of meat on a plate each, 2 sides and a plate for bread.

    Post # 4
    Member
    1072 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    We have exactly the same problem with our venue, but they are claiming it should be fine. I am thinking that I will just have one or two tall, thin centrepieces that don’t take up a lot of space. If possible, it may help to have separate standing tables or wine buckets for items not currently being used, and splitting the dishes into two or three courses served at different times. If you would like, I can report back after our event in early July and let you know how it went.

    Post # 6
    Member
    42490 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Gademers:  I grew up having family style dinners at a rectangular table. It was called our dining room table. It worked just fine.

    Post # 7
    Member
    1072 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    julies1949:  Unfortunately, weddings usually have a lot more clutter on the table than your standard dining room. Napkins, multiple glasses (water, white wine, and red wine are common), cutlery for different courses, bread plates, and several types of food. That isn’t even counting things like flowers, candles, table numbers, name cards, favors and centerpieces. Things can get pretty crowded on there.

    Post # 9
    Member
    42490 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Penang1885:  Obviously you didn’t grow up with my mother. Other than the multiple wine glasses (we only had water and one wine glass), table numbers and favors, everythiing you mentioned was standard for our Sunday evening dinners. My mother believed that you learned etiquette by practicing on a regular basis.

    Post # 10
    Member
    1072 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    julies1949:  I’m impressed that you regularly had name cards and multiple centerpieces at your Sunday family dinners. That must have been quite an undertaking.

    Post # 11
    Member
    42490 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Penang1885:  Nobody said anything about multiple centerpieces, but we always had a centerpiece- usually a display of flowers from the garden or something seasonal like pumpkins, evergreens in the winter and candles.

    We did have placecards.

    No need for you to be impressed though.

    Post # 12
    Member
    361 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2013

    Gademers:  First of all, we LOVED family style.  It worked out so well, and everyone had warm food and options.  Second, we used rectangular tables.  It was easier to pass food around and people were closer together.  Just a note: we had an elegant wedding, not casual, and this still worked just fine.

    Post # 13
    Hostess
    2920 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    love your idea of family style and if you want the rectangular tables to complete your look, go for it.  they will make it work. That is the point of the wedding coordinator….to make it work.

    Post # 14
    Member
    5697 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    Strange, how would you have MORE room at a round than a rectangular? And as someone said already, we all grew up having family style dinners at a rectangular table called a dining table lol

    Post # 15
    Member
    2203 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    MsJ2theZ:  The same way a circle with a perimeter of 16 inches would have an area of 20.4 square inches while a square with a perimeter of 16 inches would have an area of 16 inches.  MATH!  Sorry, had to let my nerd shine. 🙂

    In my opinion, I like round tables for family dining or weddings, as there’s usually lots of room for the food, it’s easy to pass in a circle, and you don’t get stuck with sleazy cousin Jim at the end of a long table.  (No offense to cousin Jims anywhere.)  It just feels more open and less like a cafeteria.

    So really, I think it depends on the size of the circle vs. rectanglular tables and the number of people.  If the circle tables are supposed to seat 20 people, that’s a little excessive.  If the rectangular tables are narrow, that’s space problem.

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