Post # 1
Fellow Bees –
I’m looking for some advice on how to do this. We’d like to run banquet tables in rows at reception and serve food family style. I’m including a photo of vintage tablecloth overlays as I’m planning to do this (1930’s carnival w/fiesta plates).
While I love the idea of conversation being easily heard across a narrow distance, I’m concerned there isn’t going to be enough space to pass food. We will have 2 rows of 10 inch plates as well as candles (god help me electric I fear) and flower arrangements.
Have you experienced seating/dining in this fashion? Can you suggest pros and cons? Would you do it again? Photos listed below are two different looks with similar seating, second image is at the reception hall we are using. That bride served food in buffet style.
Post # 3
I really like the long tables. I would do buffet style instead of family, though. Tables are already going to be crowded without bowls of food everywhere.
Post # 4
I guess I am just not into the super streamline look to rows. I wish I could help give you a better idea but if you are doing a family style serving then rows would make sense… Wow… I was just the most unhelpful person ever! lol
Post # 5
I love it! If we’d had the option, I would’ve wanted both family style dinner and long tables.
One thought that I did have is that you’re not going to have room for large centerpieces + food on the tables, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your centerpieces.
I think if you had a few dishes that were family style (say, salad, bread, veggies) and did plated/served main dish options, you could have the food between every 4 people (if that makes sense) and nothing would need to be passed far. I’ll try to make a diagram so it’s easier to picture…
Post # 6
If you like the long tables i say go for it!!!!! I think buffet style might be hard becuase the tables will be close so people might have to squeeze past and bump other people to get in and out for the food! I like the idea of passing the bowls around family style because it gives it a personal touch!
the only suggestion I would have is to maybe have less/smaller arrangements so that it will make passing easier, you dont want to have too much stuff on the table to to get in the way and clutter up the space and you want to make sure to give your guests enough room on the table so they dont feel crammed!
If the bowls are staying on the tables maybe find a way to incorporate them so they almost act like table arrangements??? maybe colorful or different sizes/shapes???
Post # 7
So the yellow would be each plate, with the green as small, low, easy-to-pass-over centerpieces, and the blue words should be self explanatory 😉
Post # 8
I think buffet is probably best, unless each table had more than one dish of each item to pass around for family style. Depending on how many people are at each table, waiting all day for the one bowl of potatoes to make it to your end would be a pain. Otherwise, I think the long tables is a great idea.
Post # 9
We had long tables and I loved it. The caterer did suggest buffet instead of family style though and it worked great.
Post # 10
I think for a very informal wedding, this could work well, as long as you were fine with not having much in the way of centerpieces.
Post # 11
I love the long table idea. I want the same thing! So go for it!
Post # 12
@ddw: Thank you so much for the diagram, I appreciate your extra work. We are definitely planning small flower arrangements with ranunculas, we are using my fiestaware for containers (including a digital of a sampling of what fiesta looks like).
I’m trying to avoid buffet so that people can stay seated, continue drinking, and continue conversation.
We are using fiesta dinner plates with small arrangements stuffed into random small teacups/coffee cups, etc. I really like the idea of having multiples all over the table. This would allow for less servers and would give them the ability to interchange empty containers with replacements.
Post # 13
@EffieTrinket: yes it’s going to be very casual. Loverboy and I are going to be very dressed up but reception is an old historic building. Casual food but great wine (fingers crossed).
Post # 14
I love it! Just keep the centerpieces (if any) small and low and it should be fine.
Post # 15
I had long banquet tables at my wedding last summer and everyone (including those die-hard round table people) loved them. When I was looking around for tables I found out they came in 30″ and 42″ wide options. Due to the size restrictions at my venue we decided to to two tables wired together that were 18″ each (as we thought the 30″ were too narrow). I’m not sure what your options are but if you can get the 42″ I think there is plenty of room to do family style. If you end up with the smaller widths I would think there probably isn’t much room, beyond the plates themselves you have to include room for all of the different glasses you might have, butter plates, the cutlery seating cards etc and it might get a little squished. You could experiment too with different sized (and shaped) serving dishes as some will probably fit better then others.
Hope that helps!
Post # 16
@mrslui: Thank you so much for sharing your information with me. There are 36 tables included in our rental so I’m hoping they will work out. We are going to do a test run at the location to see how narrow the tables truly are. They really look like banquet tables unless we place them in long rows so my fingers are crossed. 🙂