Different shapes of the tables used in any event, adds to the overall design of the event. This bring to my next Chronicles post – Will you mix different table shapes or…stick with tradition?

via the knot

Photo via the knot

For most events it is a tendency to just stick by tradition – why?…its easy, less hassle blah blah the list goes on. Most opt to use just round tables, seating 8-10 or even 12 guests. Be it a wedding, gala, corporate event etc…in most cases using round tables for guest seating is a common practice. This is because;

  • Most event venues has this shape readily available,
  • There’s an abundance of linen colours available for round tables and
  • Its more cheaper to rent than other table styles or
  • Some may use other shapes but have mostly stuck with one shape of table. Either going with the rounds or the longs, or the square tables. Some have even used crescents.


Photo via realweddings.com.au 

Ever thought of mixing them up and shaking tradition? I’d like to share a few tips on how you can make the most by mixing tables and the pros and cons of it.

Photo via stylemepretty.com


  • Adds dimension and discovery
  • Not all tables need table cloths
  • Less stress of dividing between or having empty tables to accommodate large/small families or friend groups
  • Maximizing the usage of available event space

Adding dimension and discovery

Mixing different table shapes, will add dimension to the whole design and interesting discoveries to each of your guests. Not to mention – a sense of grandeur to the whole event, even for the smallest soiree. Have round tables, square tables and banquet tables that will add to the whole style and create an interesting experience for all your guests. From single large centerpieces to a ‘runway’ of small centerpieces throughout a table, you can add texture, dimension and colour to the whole design and thereby providing a sense of discovery, from table to table. Design is not only about what type of décor or flowers that are used at an event, but the whole guest experience. Flowers, containers, and other décor elements add to your overall design, but the shape of each of the tables make an interesting statement on its own. Not missing….gorgeous aerial photographs.

Photo Via pinterest.com 

Not all tables need table cloths

For example, if your venue is a barn/farm or even a vineyard, try using farm tables for elongated seating together with round tables. Long farm tables, not only add character to the overall design but keeps up with the chosen venue theme. So why cover it with a table cloth? Use table cloths just for the standard rounds if you really want to use them.

Photo via oncewed.com 

Less stress of dividing between or having empty tables to accommodate large/small families or friend groups

Many of you may have come across the dilemma of seating arrangements for large/small group of family members and friends, and trying to make them sit at different tables due to limited space availability of one table. Often, you will find either some tables looking empty or some others having extra chairs pulled up and people looking to sit together as the event goes along. This dilemma is mostly solved if you use different table sizes to accommodate large/small invitee groups. For instance, instead of using the standard 8-10 person round table you can use smaller round tables that sit 4-6 people. For larger groups, use different sized square tables that sits 8-12 or long tables that sits 12-16 per table. If the group is larger, you can always put two or more square or long tables together.

Photo via Colin Cowie Weddings

Dana cubbage via southern weddings magazine

Maximizing the usage of available event space

Round tables take round spaces and do not fit as cleanly against the walls. If the hall is rectangular or square – which most enclosed venues tend to be – using long/square tables along the perimeter of the walls and using round tables in the middle will not only give a more clean look, but will provide the ability to maximize the usage of the overall space.

Photo via stylemepretty.com


  • Added rental costs and needing custom table cloths
  • Limited flow in conversation
  • Need for more table décor
  • Limitations on the flow of the overall event and will look cluttered if not planned properly

Added rental costs and needing custom table cloths

Long and square tables tend to be more costly to rent than the usual round tables. The cost will vary between each table size and shape. When mixing tables you may even have to create custom linen for each group of tables adding to the expenses list. For instance, if you use two half circle tables together with a square or long table at the ends you will definitely have to create custom table cloths. Plus, most venue charges include the rental of round tables. However, some venues do not carry different shaped tables, which inadvertently means, you have to rent from outside.

Photo via pinterest.com

Limited flow in conversation

Using long tables most often limits the flow of conversation…unless otherwise you are screaming at the top of your lungs:). Guests at one end of the long table will not to be able to converse well with another, seated at the other end of the table. Often, guests sitting at a long table tend to chat up with the folks who are sitting on either side of them and with those sitting directly in front limiting the flow of conversation. However, using round or square tables gives an opportunity to converse with every guest at the table with ease.

Via elementsofstyleblog.com

Need for more table décor

Mixing different shaped tables, often will call for more table decorations. Using a round table will allow you to use one table centrepiece which is most sufficient. However, using long tables will call for a runway of centrepieces which will add to the costs. Using a square table often results with having more table space in the middle to be covered which again will add to the costs of using more centrepieces or décor elements. If chosen not to add more then you will be stuck with having more space in the middle. One way to overcome this is to use food as table décor too.

Photo via Pink Orchid Weddings

Photo via stylemepretty.com


Photos via colincowieweddings.com 

Limitations on the flow of the overall event and will look cluttered if not planned properly.

Everyone knows it’s easy to walk amongst “the rounds” or walk amongst a uniform set of tables. It’s just ergonomics. Round and square tables gives the opportunity to use more of it in an enclosed space rather than using more of another different shaped table. It’s easy to move between the rounds and the squares rather than between rectangles and crescents or even tables set in criss-cross style. When mixing different table shapes, if not done properly, the whole space will look cluttered and messy.

Photo via Elizabeth Ann Designs

Overall, one is limited by one’s own imagination, need and capability. Question is…Will you mix the table shapes or…stick with Tradition?

Share your thoughts…I’d love to know.


P.S Look through more inspirations on our pinterest board – seating styles


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