If the wedding reception, whether it is lunch or dinner, is a seated banquet, it will be important to think about the tables arrangement, and to include them in the tableau de mariage. 

The tableau helps the guests to find their assigned seat, so you will need to decide the arrangement of the tables in advance.

In order to decide on the layout of the tables it is vital to know the number of guests, so that you know how many tables you need and how many people will have to sit at them.

The arrangement also depends on the type of table chosen. There are many options the newlyweds can choose from: the main ones are either round tables or one, or more, imperial tables.


The imperial table has an elongated shape and is a versatile solution, capable of taking different shapes (classic imperial table, U-shaped table, serpentine table, etc.).

The purpose of this typology is to unite the diners at a single table and it is an interesting choice which, however, cannot always be applied correctly. 

To be able to arrange the imperial tables in a certain way it is necessary that there is enough space within the venue.

For example, imperial wedding tables are ideal for receptions in villas and large halls, much less so in smaller restaurants.


The round table is certainly a practical solution, considering that most event villas have these tables. There are different sizes for round tables, to accommodate from a minimum of four people to a maximum of twelve people.

The most commonly used size is the round table with diameter 160 for 8/10 seats. This is the best solution if you want to organize the reception by separating families and groups of friends. Indeed, in many cases, it is the best way to separate people who don’t particularly get along 



According to etiquette, the parents of both the bride and groom and the wedding witnesses are seated at the bride and groom’s table, but if you prefer a less traditional solution, you can decide to have only the wedding witnesses at the table, or, be alone.

Regarding family tables, it can be useful to ask the parents who they prefer to have at the table and, in the case of a large family, to get help deciding on the arrangement of relatives in order to avoid embarrassing misunderstandings.

As far as tables for friends are concerned, it’s recommended to divide them into subgroups. For example you can divide them in: long-time friends, old school friends, co-workers,etc.

This will make it easier to make decisions.

If there are couples or singles who do not belong to any group, you can think about putting them at the table with someone they have met at least once, or arrange them taking into account common interests.



To facilitate your decision making, it could be helpful to make a drawing of the reception hall and the tables inside, taking into account the exact number of guests agreed with the caterer.

In each table enter the individual names of all the members, so it will be easier to decide  and match families, friends and acquaintances correctly.

You can ask for this chart to the venue manager or to the wedding planner who is in charge of the entire wedding planning, including the setup of the reception hall.


And what about you? Have you decided whether you will use the imperial table or the round tables?


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash