Developing a floor plan can feel like a daunting task, even more so when you’re dealing with family dynamics. If you’ve chosen a venue that regularly hosts weddings, make sure to ask the coordinator as they may have a variety of options available to you. On the opposite end of the spectrum, your space may not actually offer a lot of flexibility and you may be required to follow a specific layout - I’ve found this to be more prominent in restaurants. Or, what can sometimes be the most difficult to work with, a completely large open space. At first, it feels like the perfect fit and you’ll be able to do whatever your heart desires, only to realize that there are a thousand different options and now you don’t know where to start. In this blog post, I’ll be working with a popular venue in downtown Kelowna, The Laurel Packinghouse, as well as a private property tented wedding.
Before we dive in, here are a few key factors to consider:
Do you plan on having a sweetheart or head table? Deciding where you’d like the focal point to be is a good place to start.
Do you find yourself drawn to round tables, rectangular tables, or a mix? If you’re not sure, sift through your inspiration images and see if there’s a pattern.
How are you planning to serve dinner? Each style of service has different needs. Family style is best offered on long tables with plenty of room for the food to be placed. A plated dinner service is not ideal in close quarters, so creating extra space between the tables will allow for a more efficient service, and prevent staff from bumping into each other or guests. In terms of a buffet, you’ll want to check how many tables your caterer needs, and also determine an area for the setup.
Is there family members or friends that will absolutely need to sit together or be separated?
Are you inviting kids? If so, you may want to create an area for them to eat and play.
Pam and Graeme hosted their wedding on the most gorgeous waterfront property. When we were on the topic of catering, they were really drawn to the concept of serving dinner family style. As I mentioned above, long and large tables are ideal for this type of service. Along with feeling confident about wanting a head table, these choices dictated the layout. Instinctually, I wanted to have the water and valley views behind them, because majority of the reception shots are about capturing your emotion, and who wouldn’t want that in the background? From there, the dance floor fit naturally between the tent supports and we placed multiple rectangular tables along the outer edges. This celebration truly felt so intimate. Keep scrolling to see the original plan and final outcome!
For our couple, Jenn and Andrew, they LOVED the idea of using beautiful wood tables, but were unable to rent enough for all of their guests due to budgetary restrictions. For this reason, we ensured that the head table was wood, along with their families, and then used a few at the back to help balance the space. At the front, we made sure there were two large tables of 16, so both the bride and grooms family would be able to enjoy the celebration together. For the rest, round tables provided by the venue were utilized and covered with a simple white linen. Dinner was served via buffet and therefore didn’t require much consideration in relation to the layout, other then ensuring there was a space for the food. The bar and lounge were placed on the opposite end of the dance floor in order to provide separate areas for dancing and conversation, and avoid having everyone scream at each other, haha. See the floor plan and final result, below!
And remember, don’t forget your vendors!
Have questions? Comment below.