We have been talking about large weddings in Hudson Valley for almost two months now, and to wrap up our large wedding series, we are going to share some of our top tips for wedding floor plans. A wedding floor plan is one of those things when done well, nobody will notice. If not done well, everyone will notice. If you work with ballroom wedding venues or other traditional venues, you might be able to put together a floor plan with little to no effort. On the other hand, if you have a more unique wedding venue (or have lots of extra focal points – like food stations and extra drink stations), it can quickly become a little more complicated.

As Hudson Valley wedding planners, today we are sharing our top tips for designing your wedding floor plans. But just a reminder? You can hire us to handle this for you. We don’t do ballrooms but if you are looking for one of a kind design or someone to help make your wedding day truly your own, contact us here to get started. Don’t worry, we will still let you do the fun stuff.

farm tables floor plan outdoor tent in hudson valley

Photography Credit: Joshua Brown Photography

1. Choose your dinner service style before you start to create your floor plan

When you think about your wedding reception dinner, does your mind think of a plated dinner or buffet? There are SO many options, so don’t feel limited to just the two. Before you work on your wedding floor plan, you do need to decide on your dinner service style. After all, you’ll need to budget space for a buffet line or food stations – if that’s what you decide. You can read more about different catering options here if the thought of unique reception food appeals to your appetite. You also need to know your dinner service style in order to decide what style of table best suits your event.

Like we mentioned before, we don’t work in ballrooms and for most of the wedding venues we work at, there is no “standard” table included (and most of our couples don’t want standard anyway).  For family style dining, we recommend at least 8×36″ or 42″ wide tables (or farm tables). If you are considering a plated or buffet dinner, you can try mixing 72″ round tables (which tends to provide seating for 10-12 people and leave lots of space for decor) and 8×36″ rectangular tables to make your floor plan more interesting and fun.

wedding food stations

Photography Credit: Joshua Brown Photography

2. Choose a location for your wedding entertainment and dance floor

Before you begin placing your tables, you should choose a location for your wedding entertainment (your band, DJ, or any other fun things you may be bringing in). You want everyone to have a good view of the dance floor so they don’t miss any special moments. It’s also important to make sure your dance floor is large enough for all of your guests can be on the dance floor at once. Not everyone will be dancing all night long but there’s always 1-2 songs that draws everyone to the floor. You don’t want to run out of room on the dance floor! You also want plenty of space around the dance floor so guests can gather and watch your first dance. Nothing ruins a floor plan like spaces that are too tight.

bride and groom kiss on dance floor

Photography Credit: Kelly Kolar Photography

3. Think about the easiest locations for your bar and/or food stations

Once you have chosen your dining style, consider what food and bar stations you need to make that happen. The larger your guest list, the more options you will need. You will want to leave enough space for guests to gather at the bar. When you look at where to place the stations, be mindful of the logistics. Don’t make your service team have to cross the dance floor to serve food or stock the bar with glassware or ice. Not only will it be distracting for your guests, it slows down the service! Be mindful of the most practical places to have your food and bar stations and try to place them as close to that as possible.

4. Pick a focal point in the reception room (your head table or sweetheart table is a good option!)

Whether you are having a sweetheart table or head table, all eyes will be on you (at least for a portion of the evening). As you start to place your tables, consider the best spot for YOU to avoid having your back to your guests. You might also consider a raised platform for your table so it’s easier for guests to see your faces. Once you have a focal point, your dance floor, and entertainment areas, and your food stations placed, you are ready to start placing tables. And you thought your seating chart would be the hard part!

Want more floor plan inspiration? Here are some examples of wedding floor plans we have done recently!

The option below had the dining tables on each side, the dance floor and band in the middle, and a mix of round and farmhouse tables to keep things interesting! 

wedding floor plan with round tables and long tables

For the below option, we kept all of the tables long but set up a dessert and coffee station near a separate lounge area. The DJ and dance floor were in the middle and of course, we were mindful of the exits! 

wedding floor plan with farmhouse tables

Below was an outdoor tent wedding, and a more complicated setup as there were lots of elements at play! 

tent wedding floor plans with round tables

Working with a Hudson Valley Wedding Planner

Above are just a few of the wedding floor plans we have been creating lately. Because we tend to work at untraditional wedding venues, we don’t have any templates or “standard” floor plans. We really do follow the above process every single time, to create something unique to each and every couple we work with. If you are looking for a wedding planner and designer like that, we hope you will get in touch here.