The Best Seating Arrangement for Intimate Wedding Receptions

Create a family atmosphere by seating guests at one long table.

The Best Seating Arrangement for Intimate Wedding Receptions

Photo: Amy & Stuart Photography

lakeside table

There's something so warm and friendly about dining at a single table with all of your friends and family. The seating arrangement allows you and your guests to feel like you're at home enjoying a dinner party, rather than attending a formal, serious event. And with a small enough guest list, it is actually feasible to create that cozy, intimate feeling at your own wedding. Instead of breaking guests up into small table groups, bring everyone together at one fabulously decorated table and get the party started!

There are a few factors to consider before committing to one table:
- First, note how many guests will be attending. Any more than 50 guests and the table might just be too long to fit in the venue (and, honestly, might look a little ridiculous!).
- Another logistic to consider: what are the dimensions of your venue? If your event space is on the small side, a single table may not be possible even if you have a small number of guests. In fact, spacious outdoor venues typically complement a long table best.
- Finally, think about the type of dinner service you'd prefer. A single long table works well for a sit-down service, since once guests are seated, it's difficult for them to get up and down and carry over plates of food. If you desire a buffet or "heavy hors d'oeuvres" menu, several smaller tables may be a better fit.

Still, there's no denying the dramatic impact of a long king's table! Alternate tall flower arrangements with smaller clusters of blooms – taking care not to block anyone's view of neighboring guests. Or, simply display a runner of low floral arrangements that guests can easily see – and speak – over. If you love the look of long tables but simply have too many guests attending your celebration, consider using two or three long tables, or even creating a U-shaped configuration that takes up less space. Discover some inspirational options for a glorious family-style reception below!

garden table

Photo by Elizabeth Messina; Consulting, Floral Design, and Rentals by Bob Gail Special Events

gold and silver table

Photo by Liz Banfield and Adrienne Page

italy table outside

Photo by Amy & Stuart Photography; Invitations & Calligraphy by Laura Hooper Calligraphy

silver table

Photo by Cooper Carras Photography; Consulting by Levine Fox Events; Invitations & Calligraphy by Lehr and Black

red and purple table

Photo by James Johnson

u shaped table

Photo by Vue Photography

Opening photo by KT Merry Photography