A Guide to Choosing the Right Wedding Table Layout

There are so many aspects to planning a wedding. From the ceremony to the reception, who you will invite (and who you won’t), the honeymoon, and about one hundred other things. To make your life a little easier, we’ve put together a quick guide to creating the right wedding table layout below. It’s an important aspect to get right, although it might not seem like it now.


There is a myriad of different layout options available for the typical wedding reception venue. Most of them aren’t very viable, and your venue most likely has a selection of their most-suited options pre-planned. Opt for one of these, if they suit you – especially if they are a ‘banquet’ style of round tables because that will accommodate the most guests, and create a good atmosphere. Banquet layouts are traditional and easily adaptable for a dancefloor and a top table.

Top Table

Speaking of, the top table is a tradition that is very important to most couples. Nowadays, the traditional ‘top eight’ isn’t as important as it once was but you still might want to adhere to this it nevertheless.

Historically, the top table would be the bride, groom, both parents, maid of honour, and best man, with the bridal party to the right of the groom and the groom’s family to the left of the bride, with everyone seated along one side of a rectangular table that looked across the reception.

However, in modern weddings, many people are deciding to take a more personal approach to the top table. Whether that is just having the bride and groom, having a different mixture of friends and family, or even a round table to match the rest of the reception, which is more social and blends in better.

Our advice: throw the rulebook out the window and do what you want with the top table. Keeping the traditional layout but selecting a group of people that suits you can work really well, as can a round table that blends in, however, a table of just the bride and groom can be a bit isolating.

Everyone Else

In terms of everyone else, common sense does most of the work for us. It’s best to place people that know each other and get on well together on the same table, naturally. For any particularly sociable guests on your list, they might be used to ‘plug gaps’ in tables and give people a chance to meet someone new.

Many people also opt for mixing both sides of the family. This helps everyone get to know each other and brings the two families together, a great metaphor for the wedding itself – just don’t be too hasty with this if there might be any issues.

Extra Considerations

There are still the final details to get right with your wedding table layout, although they are purely aesthetic and down to your preferences and your theme.

Firstly, we recommend that you give people specific name cards, and then also opt for table names as opposed to table numbers, preferably some names that are creative and relevant to your theme or yourselves. It’s a bit more interesting to read that you’re on table ‘Midnight in Paris’ or ‘Great Gatsby’ in a 1920s-themed wedding than simply number ‘8’ or ‘3’. There’s also less room for people to be upset by the ‘heirarchy‘ of table numbers.

We Recommend a Banquet-Style Wedding Table Layout

At the end of the day, it’s your wedding so the table layout is purely your choice. It’s nice to have to guidance and direction but you know your guests, your venue, your theme, and just about everything else about your wedding best, so use that to your advantage and tie everything together nicely.

We recommend a banquet-style layout, a top table with whoever you want on it, place cards and table names, rather than numbers, and mixing families and friends together with new people (being sure not to isolate anyone) and to have fun with the whole thing. Planning a wedding is stressful, so take an opportunity to have fun where you can.

Jaspers Event Hire

If you’re planning a wedding and, as part of your wedding table layout process, are in the market for tables to hire – contact Jaspers Event Hire today. We have a range for all manner of weddings, so browse our tables here, call us on 01582 749966, or fill out our contact form to learn more.

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