Post # 1
I dont know what to do and how we are going to fit everyone!!
I dont have the exact measurements of the room where my reception is being held but I have lots of questions and ANY help would be GREATLY appreciated!! We are not hiring any sort of wedding planner due to our very very limited budget (meaning we are doing all our own flowers, decorations, setting up tables, etc)…and it is getting overwhelming, especially since the wedding is in Dallas, TX and I go to school in Birmingham, AL.
1. What do you know about sizes of tables? I have heard that you can always seat 8 people at a 6-seater and 10 at an 8-seater. Is this true? What about table cloths? Are long or short ones better? Also, how much space do you need in BETWEEN tables to allow for walking room?
2. My mother and I both like the idea of assigned seating since it is definitely easier for the guests but it’s definitely harder for us. Also, we are worried about having enough space and I have heard (and been to weddings) where they did not do assigned seating because of space issues but instead had several cocktail tables where people could stand and eat/talk if they wanted. We are doing buffet-style dinner if that plays any part in seating.My mom wants to assign some people (like my large group of soccer buds) to some of the rectangular tables that we will have set up but I say that the younger folk may want to stand more than sit.
3. Does anyone have pictures of simple but pretty centerpieces for tables? We want to do tall vases since the room has a high ceiling but we wouldnt do that on every table. Is it tacky to have too many different style centerpieces?
4. Along those same lines, is it tacky to have round tables in the main room then maybe some rectangular ones in the screened-in porch area surrounding it?
I’m sure I have tons of other questions but cant think of them now. ANY help you have is useful bc we have never done this before and it’s a lot to do without help.
Last question: how do you know that everything will fall together and look good whenever the day of the wedding finally comes? My mom has been buying random vases at thrift stores, etc and they are pretty but since we have all these misc items and wont see it all put together until the day of the wedding, it just scares me. Who sets it up? Do I get to see it before?
Post # 3
Take a deep breath. It will be ok. Now I am not a wedding planner but I will give you my perspective on your questions.
1. I am not sure what you mean by 6 seater and 8 seater, but I think the general rule of thumb for tables and number persons is as follows: 48 inch table will seat 6 people, 54 inch table can accommodate 6 to 8 people, a 60 inch table will be 8 to 10 people and 72 inch table will seat 10 to 12 people. As far as spacing in between my guess would be about 5 to 6 feet to be comfortable.
2. Assigned seating is fine. Just remember you don’t need an exact number of people per table. For example not all tables need to have 8 persons, some could be 7 others could be 9. This will relieve some of the complications of the seating. Also, you don’t necessarily need to assign seats but maybe just tables, this helps a bunch to on the stress factor. I don’t think anyone will want to stand during dinner, but that is just my opinion.
On a side note: I have used Martha Stewarts Wedding Tools And swear by the seating tool…it helped insure me that we were going to have enough space.
3. I don’t think it is tacky to have a variety of centerpieces if there is a cohesive theme or color scheme. As far as simple centerpieces, what are you looking for. You can always do a vase full of simple flowers or a cluster of candles.
4. I don’t think round in the main area and rectangular in the side area is tacky. Do what you can do to make it work.
5. I am not sure anyone ever gets to see the set up before the day of the wedding. All you have to do is trust your instincts and your decorators (whoever they may be).
Post # 4
i would definitely recommend going to a newstand and paging through some bridal magazines. Just pick up anything that catches your eye as interesting. Even if you see pictures of a centerpiece that is more elaborate than you might eventually want, it could help inspire a centerpiece you love. Also, try to take a look at the bridal stuff from budget/DIY magazines like Real Simple b/c they will probably have ideas more tailored to your situation
And in the meantime, don’t worry. It’ll be lovely no matter what:)
Post # 5
You’re not getting married at Winfrey Point, are you? Your description of the screened-in area made me think of that spot.
I second the recommendation to assign tables, but not seats. That way, you know there are enouch chairs for everybody, but it’s not as stressful as far as who has to sit next to whom, etc. You can get away with it since you’re doing a buffet.
I don’t think it’s tacky to have different shaped tables at all. That being said, I also don’t think people will want to stand the whole time; they’ll at least want a chair on which to put their purse/coat, so I’d try to arrange it so everybody has a seat if they need one.
Definitely start looking at bridal magazines and theknot.com for centerpiece ideas. There are so many simple, beautiful ones — trios of buds in vases, or a collection of fruits or pretty stones floating in water, or curly willow with a few hydrangea blooms, or a few candles on a mirror. Also try searching weddingbee for "centerpiece" and I’m sure several great ideas will pop up. As far as tall/short go, I think lots of people mix it up these days.
Post # 6
Before you stress too much about table sizes and spacing, call your venue. The spacing between tables, and the maximum number of tables (and people) you can have in the room are mandated by the Fire Codes. Your venue will know what their occupancy limits are. But because those limits often depend on how the room is set up (whether space is set aside for a buffet area or dance floor, for instance) it’s pretty risky to try to calculate it yourself. You would hate to invite 150 people and them have them tell you they can’t let more than 100 in the door.
I think that you can expect people to eat light appetizers while standing, but if you’re serving dinner you need to provide places for everyone to sit. You really don’t need to provide a seating chart, as long as you have enough seating for everyone plus a little extra. (Because all your guests won’t come in groups of two, you don’t want a couple to end up having to sit separately because your singles or parents-with-child groups sat inconveniently, or because Aunt Alice has parked her purse and coat the chair next to her.) A lot of posts on this site argue that assigned seating is absolutely necessary, but my experience has been that people will tend to group themselves (often into the groups that you would have put them in) during the cocktail hour, and that when you assign seating people will also tend to hijack each other’s seats throughout the night, as they try to mingle.
We not only had a mixture of centerpiece sizes, but had a mixture of table sizes and shapes (the centerpieces were designed to match the table size and shape). I thought it looked great – and more like a very large dinner party than like a catered event, which was what we wanted anyway.
Post # 7
Yes, the reception actually is at Winfrey Point? 🙂 Do you have experience with it?
Also, I definitely agree with wanting to have enough seats for everyone…but still am not sure about doing assigned tables or not. I was never planning on actually assigning SEATS, but thanks so much for confirming that it would be a lot easier to just assign tables. Y’all are great.
Here’s some info on the venue. The main room says that it can hold 270 STANDING and I’m not sure about the wrap around screened-in porch. We really will have enough room for everyone but I would prefer to not have to sit people out on the grass that is a few stair steps down from the outside porch. I’ve been to several weddings where there were people inside, people on the grass, etc and i didnt liket he setup because it was all so detached (ie: the first dance was taking place and people did not even know it).
I cant thank y’all enough for how helpful you’ve already been. Really. Thank you in advance 🙂
And I know I just need to chill and not stress about it, it’s just tough because we are on such a limited budget, doing all the planning and organizing ourselves, and I don’t want any guests to feel left out or anything…
Post # 8
I don’t have any experience with Wedding Party, but it was one of our top site contenders, along with Texas Discovery Gardens and the Arboretum. We really wanted an outdoor space. I love the screened-in areas at Wedding Party and how the space is such a blank canvas. I also love how it overlooks the lake; it will be a beautiful spot!
I hopped on flickr.com and did a search for "winfrey point wedding." Here are some sets/shots I came up with that show the space pretty well: