(Closed) Help: my reception venue is too small!

posted 11 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I would say fewer tables with more people per table.  You want the place to feel spacious and be easy for people to move around in.  If it’s a little squished at the table, it’s no big deal.

I think it’s a good idea to break down the head table.  Maybe have them put a couple of cocktail tables in its place to encourage people to mingle there?  Or just leave the space open for overflow from the dancefloor?

But mostly- as long as there is plenty of room on the dance floor- that’s what really counts.  Try to keep the tables pushed back a bit from it and seat people you know will dance nearest to the floor.  You don’t want elderly, hard of hearing or non-dancing people in those tables because the music and the crowds of people coming and going from the dancefloor will bother them.

Post # 4
2022 posts
Buzzing bee

I say fewer tables more people and if you can put the kiddies in a separate room (with doors open) go for it!!

Post # 5
5398 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

If you can make fewer tables work, then I would do that so you have more room.  Plus, if it is tighter then that will encourage people to get up to mingle and dance!

Post # 6
778 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

I also agree that fewer tables with more people work best.  I suggest you use banquet seeting or long square/oval tables.  Outside I would put cocktail tables (if possible) so if people want to smoke or have a drink they can comfortably. 

Post # 7
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I think putting 9 people at a table will be good. 10 is a lot. Opening the doors and putting the kids outside could work as well. Also- what about turning the head table into  a table where people sit all the way around it, and not on just one side? Does that make sense? That way you’d cut the table in half. And not to offend anyone, but I think the one-sided head table is slightly awkward.

Post # 8
1718 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country

Great advice that PPs are giving, but what does your reception venue have to say about all this?  How can they tell you that a space fits 200 when it clearly doesn’t? My venue was very adamant about saying that they can fit 110 comfortably, and would be very uncomfortable allowing more than 125 people.  We ended up being 120, and it was tight, just like they said, but at least they warned us several times.  Does your venue have examples of previous events that held this many people?

Post # 9
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I’m with Penguin on this one.

My space said they could fit 200 and realistically with all the other stuff like buffet tables, DJ, head table, dance floor, I don’t know how they fit that many. I’m only having 100 guests and I have thought a time or two, "200… REALLY?"

I would go with less tables that seat more people, and talk to your venue. Ask them to see it set up for 200 or at least for a picture. You’re paying them money, that shouldn’t be difficult for them, so don’t let them give you a hard time. 

Post # 10
3 posts

Here are a couple of things to think about – 

  1. What are the reception sites dos and dont about the venue regarding seating?
  2. Does the venue have previous seating chart and or diagrams of arrangments from previous event where 200 have been seated? they should.
  3. How many guest have confirmed and RSVP-ed with you? Can you give yourself any room in the count to take away any chairs…think about it.
  4. Children on a balcony of any sort is probably not acceptable because of insurance liability. Im suprised your venue doesnt have it in your contract. For a nominal fee you may be able to get a second room- decorate, provide seating and a source of entertainment for children. Im sure some of the guys in your wedding party have game consoles and a tv. How about board games. Brightly colored paper, crayons, pencils and small metal buckets can be a pleaser for small kids. What about a clown to paint faces, magician. Rent a photobooth or popcorn popper-which leads to how about a movie(most game consoles play them)….on the inside not on a balcony. Also, can you utilize the outside grounds of the venue…kids love outside activities.
  5. Seating of live bodies -9 people to a table should be sufficent.  I am unsure of the size of your wedding party but in the photos there are 8 chairs at the head table. Why not make that one circular too and have the bride and groom facing the family, guest and friends….because chairs can be easily turned to see a toast or see the action.
  6. What about dance floor and dj? Buffet or sit down ? Dance floors and dj space should be fit into this equation unless it is provided outside of the square footage presented here. Buffet meals mean more guest foot traffic so plan accordingly. (Give kids their own small buffet- keeps little one out of the way and avoid accidents and accidents. Also,another option- ask ushers or people that would love to help – from ceremony to help guide the guest traffic.)

Hope this helped to give you some ideas. Good Luck.

Bree Brookes Robinson   http://www.aposhplan.com

Post # 11
2640 posts
Sugar bee

Agree with more people to fewer tables.  Does your venue even have the rectangular tables?  As for putting the kids outside…  You said under 16.  So how old, specifically?  As a parent, I’m not sure I’d like my child sitting at a table outside, away from me.  I think children’s tables in general, have the potential of working really well, or being a disaster.  As in, if you have a few trouble makers, they all can get too noisy, giggly etc.  Also, what will your back plan be if it’s raining that day?

Does the facility allow smoking?  Are there smokers who might be able to sit outside, instead?

Post # 12
5398 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You know, I forgot to mention earlier.  Sometimes venues say they can fit a certain number of people (they don’t always mention they can comfortably fit them) and technically can, but once you start adding other elements that number changes.  My venue told me it could fit 300, but when it came down to it, we were somewhat tight with 200.  You also have to think about how when you are arranging tables that you might be able to seat 10 per table, but sometimes it doesn’t workout that you can actually put that many people there because you don’t want to split up couples, families, etc.

Post # 13
409 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I agree fewer tables with more people and hopefully they will be dancing so it will not be a problem.

Post # 14
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I agree w/Pengy on this one.  Fewer tables will look great.

And no to kids in separate room unless there are more than 1 baby sitter watching them all and only one way in/out with safety issues met.  NO kids on balcony.  Definitely keep safety issues in mind.

Very lovely venue btw..love the wall of windows!

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