Organising the Space for Your Wedding Reception

Have you considered whether you’ve got enough space for your wedding reception? When you’ve laid out the tables, chairs, dance floor and buffet area, will it look crowded or empty? We talked with Dunedin’s wedding and furniture hire company Swell Event Hire about their thoughts on organising wedding spaces using different floor plans.

Calculating the Necessary Space for Your Wedding Reception

When booking a wedding venue, you will be asked to confirm the number of people who will be using it. If checking online, event venues will often state their capacity numbers for you. The venue would have completed pre-checks as to how many people they can safely hold, and made allowances for the type of usage, furniture and catering requirements.

But what do you do if you are hosting your reception at home, in the local hall or at the local park? That’s where we asked Swell Event Hire for some help in explaining the types of floor plans commonly used at wedding receptions.

There are some general space recommendations for each of your wedding guests which range from around eight to twelve square feet per person (2.4 metres – 3.6 metres). This doesn’t sound like a lot of space, and this is where choosing the best floor plan comes into play:

  • Banquet – individual tables, either trestles or large rounds spread around the dining area (check out this post for a handy printable guide)
  • Theatre – straight rows facing in one direction without tables
  • Classroom – like the theatre but with tables, rows facing in one direction
  • U-shaped – long tables arranged in a U shape (this is also called a horseshoe configuration without tables)
  • Boardroom – long tables arranged in a rectangle shape facing each other
  • Cabaret – like a banquet, but with one open end with no seating, facing a stage or other central point
  • Cocktail – standing space only, possibly a few tall tables to lean on or place drinks upon
  • Lounge – informal seating and standing areas
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Additional Considerations On Space for Your Wedding Reception

Besides somewhere to eat and drink, how much space do you really need within your wedding venue? Here’s what you need to take into consideration:

  • Number of guests
  • Guest’s levels of accessibility
  • Arrival areas
  • Cocktail areas
  • Dance floor
  • Stage
  • How you want to arrange tables
  • Relaxation or lounge areas
  • Catering or buffet areas
  • Dining areas
  • Types of hired wedding furniture and accessories
  • Ceremony location
  • Wet weather spaces

Whatever size space for your wedding reception you are using, we recommend chatting with the team at Swell Event Hire. With delivery of their hire wedding furniture available throughout the lower South Island, a bride couldn’t ask for more than that!

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