How to develop seating styles

Great moments often happen when people are seated around the table yet this seemingly simple task is more challenging than many would think. It’s no surprise that one of the most common questions we’re asked is, how do I seat people?

The key to success is maximising available space and making sure it works for your event. Sounds easy enough, ultimately your end goal is to ensure everyone is seated in a way that allows for natural, easy interaction, guests can move around easily and have a great time. Keep this in mind when you start and you won’t go wrong.

Below we take a look at four popular table configuration styles and the considerations for each.

Single Trestles

Why they’re great

Perfect for fun, easy interaction! Our recommendation is to allow at least half a metre of table space between each guest. Our trestles are built slightly longer than a standard trestle so guests will have plenty of elbow room.


Always leave enough room between tables too, so wait staff, and guests, can move around the venue without too much fuss.

Long Trestle Lengths

Why They’re Great:                                                                                         

This setup is stunning and practical and will allow guests and wait staff room to move and interact easily.  Run guest tables parallel against the longest length of your space/venue for the best impact.  Place your head table against the shortest length of venue.  


Arrangements in odd numbers are pleasing to the eye.  Consider making your long length tables with either three or five trestles.  For the head table you’ll be able to symmetrically place florals, table centre pieces and any shared dishes (giving great photo opportunities!). For guest tables you’re able to vary your decor height and style – big and bold or lots of smaller decorations along the length of the table.

(Images: L- R: Today’s Camping Gear and Wedding Invites Paper)


Why It’s Great:

This table layout will give you drama in spades. If you’re up for it try having your dance floor or lounge area in the centre of the U.  All tables will have spectacular views making for great photo opportunities.


You need to have a reasonable amount of room available for this setup.  Think beautiful gardens, large marquees and old warehouses.  You risk loosing the intimate feeling you’ll create if your guest list is larger than 100.

Image: Opal Events

Mix it up!

Why It’s Great:

Great for when you want to experiment, think of combining round tables with trestles or try out a mix of vintage and industrial seating together.  Overall this is a more casual setup and perfect for achieving an informal style. 

One style that we love the look of is mixing wooden trestles with a head table dressed in natural organic linen.


If you want to bend the rules you must still have a common thread to pull the look together or you could risk visual chaos! Colour can be used as a cohesive element and is great for anchoring more eclectic styles.

(image: Pinterest – White Magazine)

With all styles make sure you develop a floor plan so you have an idea how the final layout will look. Make sure that key people, speakers and caterers, can move easily around the room.

Safety is important too, so keep fire exists and access to kitchens clear.

I hope the above has provided some inspiration as well as guidance on what can be a daunting topic!

Have a chat with us about your venue early on in the planning process. We do site visits so we can help you work through the best style for your event.