Catering your Wedding | The Wedding Tables

Matt Hayden

With nearly 300 weddings under our belt, we have accumulated a knowledge of the basics that we are happy to share with you.  You won’t be surprised to learn that the choices you make, from the table size and shape, the linen material, the china, glassware and flatware all have a practical reason for being there.  And although there are plenty of cosmetic choices to made, you have heard the saying – form follows function. Here is our accumulated wisdom to help you not just make the best wedding table and linen selections for your reception meal, but understand why they work.


When it comes down to it, most people gravitate to two solutions:  Round or Rectangular. This is your day, and there are other unique tables and scenarios that will fit perfectly into your setting.


Seating: 5 ft. diameter tables will seat 8 | 6 ft. diameter tables will seat 10

Round tables are the most common wedding tables couples select.  They are typically either 5 ft. or 6 ft. in diameter. Round tables are easy to decorate. They have a fair amount of unused space in the center to accommodate your gorgeous centerpieces. A room (or tent) full of round tables looks nice, and round tables can really fill a space – giving it a more warm, well attended feel. Sometimes 4 ft. rounds are used for cake tables.


Seating: 6 ft. tables will seat 6 | 8 ft. tables will seat 8 | Table width is 30 in.

Rectangular tables (also called Banquet Tables) are generally utilized for more ordinary purposes such as buffets, gift tables, beverage stations, etc. However, we have suggested rectangle tables lately to create a Country Chic feel or a Family Style scenario.  As you can see from the photos, banquet tables, if set properly can have a very dramatic, one of a kind look. Rectangular tables can add an extra dimension of planning. After traditional place settings are on the table, table space will be at a premium and will often require a mock-up to make sure that centerpieces and family style food will fit.

Bistro Tables

Seating: 2-3 (if you choose to use seats)

Bistro Tables (also called High Top Tables) are used primarily to give your guests a place to set their drink or a small plate of appetizers.  Bistros are used to create a lounge or casual atmosphere.  As opposed to a low seating scenario where folks generally stay in their seats, Bistro Tables will encourage your guests to move around and are ideal for a cocktail hour, heavy appetizer situations or to signify a bar area or space different from the main seating.  To summarize: Bistros are fun !


You chose your wedding colors months, possibly years, ago. You have planned where it will be utilized for maximum effect, including the linens on all of the wedding tables. Those linens are more than just color accents; they have a function for the guests and provide an opportunity to dress up tables that would otherwise be more utilitarian. They typically come in two lengths: Floor and Lap.

Floor Length

Floor Length linens are a must for buffets, cake tables, gift tables, and anything that is not being used for a meal. The longer length helps to hide any of the structure under the table, and offers you and your caterers extra storage room near their work area. We always appreciate having a little extra time near the food. It is possible to use a floor length linen for dining tables, but can be impractical for guests, especially if they have to get up frequently.

Lap Length

Lap Length linens, when laid over a table, do exactly what their name implies. They sit at about chair height, making it easy to stand up and sit down at the table. If you are working on creating a casual atmosphere, or have a buffet or heavy appetizer menu, these are the right choice for your tables.


You are not limited to just one piece, or even one pattern, of linen for your table. For display tables, like for gifts, buffets, or wedding cakes, you can add runners to the edges of the table. A table runner allows for an extra dimension of color or pattern without being overwhelming. You can add color to any table with an overlay linen. This is a linen that falls slightly shorter than a Lap Length linen and provides a layering effect on the table. It is a change to really make your tables pop with color! They are especially common on Round tables.

Below is a guide of linen sizes for the different tables:


While the food is going to be front and center on your mind, don’t forget to set the table. The linens and tables you select are going to be an important part of the decor for the evening. The time spent preparing the tables will be worth it to you, and your guests, in the end.

Ready to see some menus ?  Click Here to check out some example menus

We recommend Prime Time Party Rental for all your linen and table needs !

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