Usually, your venue team or wedding coordinator can guide you with layouts which have previously worked well. If, however, you have an idea which hasn't been carried out at the venue before, such as a 'U' shape banquet set up in a barn which usually uses round tables, always ask for measurements and draw out the plan allowing plenty of extra space for your catering team and guests to move around the tables and chairs.
Sometimes, your dining space will transform under the spell of your catering team to provide space for a dance floor and evening entertainment. The layout for this part of the night can often be overlooked, however, it's always a good idea to chat with your catering team to plan a spacious and sociable furniture layout that promotes a lively dance floor whilst allowing quieter spots for conversation. Silchester Farm's hen house, above provides the perfect break-out from the hustle and bustle of the night.
Forget swans and fans, loose organic knots and napkins draped down the edge of the table allow a wider surface area of colour. Drawing on a colour within your floral arrangements can bring your table look together, and choosing a slightly different shade of this colour will enhance this further.
For table cloths, pattern and texture can surprise your guests on entrance to your dining room like Lucy and Chris' Sail Tent Company wedding above captured by Guy Hearn Photography where patterned rounds with a coastal feel contrasted with white-wash long tables.
Table & Glassware
Black cutlery can add edge to a feminine colour palette while dramatically dark plates add a mysterious feel to a table set up later in the year. Textured stone plates feel more earthy, and work well with foraged, wild food that sings with the season.
Classic glassware lets the centrepiece, crockery and linen sing, whereas a coloured or etched glass adds a pop of something different and adds heigh to your look. We love adding hints of green glassware to a classical, clean white and green look.
Whilst choosing your set up, it's always advisable to keep space in mind. Think about your table size as well as other items on the table, such as table decorations and any sharing dish elements which might sit in the centre. Although six foot rounds can comfortably seat ten guests for a three course meal, adding further courses and wine flights will significantly reduce this. There is nothing more frustrating than spending money on beautiful charger plates to find out on the morning that they won't fit on your tables. For glassware, although it's a nice touch to offer your guests multiple wine glasses, if you're opting for just one or two courses you can save space for your centrepieces by placing one wine glass alongside a stemmed water glass. Your caterer will also be able to advise on this, and will usually provide the crockery options for you to see at a tasting session prior to the big day.
All images from Silchester Farm are by our amazing photographer friend Benjamin, obvs.