We’ve Mapped Out The Perfect Wedding Reception Layout

Wedding Reception layout

No matter where you’re having your wedding reception, whether an art gallery, a country club, or a tent on your parents’ lawn, you’ll need to figure out a floor plan for your wedding reception setup! Deciding how to place the dance floor, tables, stage, and bar(s) will have a major impact on the flow of the evening. Not sure how to set up a wedding reception room? We have a few tips for where to start.

Place the Dance Floor and Stage First

With the dimensions of the room on-hand, decide where you’ll put the dance floor. An established venue (think hotel ballroom) will often have good suggestions, but if you’re working with a venue that doesn’t host many weddings, you may have to come up with your own ideas. The two most popular options for a rectangular room are to either center the dance floor lengthwise, with the dance floor and stage for the band or DJ against one of the room’s long walls (this is usually directly across from the entrance), or to place the dance floor at one end of the room, centered and backed up against one of the room’s short walls.

Select Tables

Before you fill in the floor plan, decide what shape and size you want for your tables. Will you and your partner be at a sweetheart table, or will you be joining your wedding party at a long king’s table? Either way, make sure the two of you are in a central location that most of the guests can see—and with a great view of the band! Then decide if your guests will be at round, square, or rectangular tables, and determine how many guests can fit at each table (which will help you figure out your total table count!).

Arrange the Tables

Now that you know what kind of tables you’ll be using, lay them out. Put yourselves in the best seats in the house, whether that means giving the head table the greatest view or setting the sweetheart table immediately opposite the dance floor from the band. From here, try to arrange your tables as symmetrically as possible. The tables will either form a U-shape around a dance floor centered along a long wall, or will fill one end of the space if the dance floor is at the far end.

Illustration: Brides

Pick the VIP Seats

Reserve the tables closest to the two of you for your immediate families, and set aside tables that are farther from the band for older guests. The less desirable seats should be saved for your friends—they’ll be spending more time on the dance floor than at their tables, anyway!

Leave Room for the Bar(s)!

A good rule of thumb is to have one bar with two bartenders for every 100 guests. So if you’re expecting 150 people, you should have two bars and at least three bartenders for the evening. Spread the bars out to avoid congestion, and try to keep them away from the entrance to the space so guests walk all the way into the reception before looking for a drink. Place one bar near the dance floor to keep the party started, and another a little removed from the dance floor (and far away from the catering entrance!).


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