Post # 1
We have an awkward reception layout! When I officially decided on our venue, this was the one thing that bothered me but I decided to deal with it once we got closer to the date. Well we’re pretty close and now I have to deal with it. The reception is in an old mansion that obviously wasn’t built with wedding receptions in mind so the rooms are divided. We have 16 round tables to place. Our wedding coordinator with the mansion suggests 9 tables in the main gallery and 7 in the library – but she said to let her know if we want to be creative and do something different. Any ideas?
We don’t have a traditional long rectangle head table. My fiance and I are sitting at round tables with our wedding party and their dates (unless someone has a better idea!). In the picture I attached, the star is usually where they set the bride and grooms table. I feel bad that people who are sitting in the library wont’ be seeing us, the cake, or the dance floor during dinner. And I can’t even say that they’re close to the bar as a consolation!
Any ideas on placement of tables/head table to make this work out?!
Post # 3
Oh wow… that is bad. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Can people go out in the Solarium? At least it is more open from there.
What about long banquet style tables? Those are really hip and cool now and you can fit more people in the same space. Like dinner at banquet tables in the main gallery and then dancing and party in the library, maybe with some lounge furniture – people can still go take a rest at their tables, but make the library like a cocktail/party atmosphere and the main gallery dinner.
I REALLY agree with you that it’s bad form to have a big chunk of guests in a room where they can’t see you and are cut off from everything else. I would do anything to avoid that, including shifting around my timeline to accommodate a dinner room and a party room.
Post # 4
@NAvery: Our venue only does circle tables and doesn’t let us rent from any other vendors – but I like your idea. I’m wondering if I would have enough space for all 16 tables in the main gallery/former dance area. Also, right now we have 8 people sitting at each table. So maybe we could cut down the # of tables if we squeezed 10 at a table instead. I’d rather have a few people sit a little tighter during dinner and have everyone in the same room than have everyone so sprawling out but so divided. Thanks for your input!
Post # 5
@AlliMayWedding: What about putting the circle tables together and laying plywood over them to make the large harvest-style tables? I know that’s a big reach and probably more work/not possible, but it’s an idea.
So lemme think on backup plans. Constraints we have:
– Must use circle tables
– No outside vendors
– Only two doors between two rooms
So, this one is kind of crazy, but could you prop up some big, very PRETTY mirrors that somehow reflected where you were sitting into the other room? That is sorta bananas and would be hard to figure out without actually taking said mirrors to the site and trying it out. I’m grasping here, LOL. But people really just want to see what is happening.
I like Jordan’s Icovia website for setting up room plans and trying out different layouts. I did about 100 for my venue. It takes a bit of time to get the hang of but is totally worth it. It looks like you have exact measurements here so you could do to-scale layouts and see what would actually fit.
What size are the rounds? If they are 60″, don’t try to squeeze 10 in.
Post # 6
A couple other ideas in case you do end up having to split people:
I would plan on eating VERY fast and then booking it to the other room and walking around to tables. That sucks, I know, but I’d almost be tempted to have them set aside our meals or eat something really fast before you enter the reception so you can right away go gladhand at tables.
Your DJ can invite everyone to gather around the dance floor for your first dance, not just watch it from their seats. That way everyone gets up and comes into the appropriate room.
Post # 7
Here is my idea:
If the tables are big enough seat 10 people per table (seeing how you had 16 before with 8 per table that means a guest count of 128 – so now you just need 13 tables.) That isn’t much but maybe now you can set the tables to where the dance floor curretly is. Then move the dance floor to the library area. It is a bit of tight squeeze but when I worked in a banuqet hall during Christmas we would have these huge parties and we’d just squeeze people in. Just don’t do so bad that the waitresses have to always ask people to move just to get through. People get annoyed at us and it’s like really? I’m holding ten plates and I’m already squeezing through.
Post # 8
if you could make the libary the dance floor have everyone eat in the other area
Post # 9
@asianyoushi: +1, I like that idea of everyone in the Gallery and dancing in the Library.
Post # 10
@AlliMayWedding: what size are your tables? can 10 fit at them comfortably? i would move the dj and dance floor to the library and put all of the tables in the main gallery. can you put any overflow of tables in the solarium? it would be better than the library. the dance floor would be quite big in the library so maybe you could put some lounge chairs and tables or just some high top tables around the dance floor.
Post # 11
@AlliMayWedding: one of my favorite wedding i went to had a similar set up. it was a more casual wedding with about 60 people. there was a courtyard and 2 inside rooms which made a triangle shape.
the courtyard: cocktail tables
inside room 1: bar, 3 piece band, dance floor, a 4-5 8-person tables for sitting
inside room 2: food laid out on a giant table, no seating in this room
there was also the lobby that had some couches.
i personally wouldn’t have had my wedding in this location and it was too small for me, but i loved being a guest. it was a very social atmosphere where we could easily flow in and out of the rooms. and it was a beautiful evening.
Post # 12
I’m having an issue with this too. Honestly, I’m leaning towards putting the dance floor in a completely separate room, with all the doors open to it. I would leave a smaller area in the dining room for our first dance and possibly the garter/bouquet… but then hopefully people would move to the dance floor area, where there will be lounge furniture as well as the bar! I’m not sure if I’m crazy or idealistic… has your wedding happened yet? what did you decide? Btw – I would do all dining in the LIbrary, dance floor in the center of the library and cake and bar on either side of the dance floor.
Post # 13
@kaysea540: Sorry to hear you’re having the same issue. However, I’m happy to report that my wedding is done and over with and the layout was much less of an issue than I thought it would be. In the end, I opted to go with the layout our coordinator suggested. I figured she has overseen all of the weddings at our venue and trusted her judgement. I’m so happy I did because it was perfect. When we were introduced at our reception, we came down a flight of beautiful stairs that led into the main gallery. Before our entrance, the DJ instructed all of the guests to get on their feet, move into the main gallery to welcome us. So when we walked in, no one was sitting, everyone was standing and cheering/taking pics etc. It was seriously like we were being swarmed by fans/papparazzi or something. We were surrounded by friends and family who left us a path to the dance floor where we did our first dance. Everyone just kept standing/mingling in the main gallery for our first dance and cake cutting which we did right after our entrance. So everyone who wanted to see everything, was able to. For dinner, we ate pretty quickly and then got up to say hi to the tables in the library who were finishing up their meals. While we were saying hi to people in the library it was time for the father daughter and mother son dances so we did those and the people who really cared to watch were there watching/taking pics. We sat our closest family and friends in the main room and most of the guests in the side library room were friends or further out relatives. I thought it worked out great. Everyone just seemed to float in and out of all the rooms and it didn’t feel as divided as I thought it would. I think the main thing that helped was having our dance and cake cutting right after our entrance and having our DJ tell everyone not to feel like they have to sit in their chairs. He encouraged everyone to get up to greet us and watch the dance/cake cutting. Good luck to you! Let me know if you have any questions!
Post # 14
If you are wanting to see if you can fit all the round tables in the main room, you can use the room planner on linentablecloth.com [if you know the dimesions]
Post # 15
Here’s a thought: Do you have to have a seated dinner? You could do food stations in each room instead, so people can mingle and talk to everyone.