How many tables need for a wedding

How many tables need for a wedding

here is the not fun but necessary part of wedding planning. Let’s talk tables and chairs. I know this technical stuff isn’t fun but you know what is worse? Finding out you don’t have enough tables the day before your wedding. Ok, enough pep talk let’s get this done. First what tables do I need? Most weddings have guest tables, head tables, cake tables, gift tables, and guest book tables. You may also want or need food tables, cocktail tables, a bar or alcohol table, a table for your DJ, a dessert table, a champagne table, or a table for displaying pictures and memories.

How many tables need for a wedding

First check with your venue does your contract includes tables?

If so how many and what size are they. Now, this is more technical but make sure to ask what size and what are the measurements. Tables are typically long or round. Longs come in 10, 8, and 6 ft. Rounds come in 60in, 72 in, 84in(8ft). If they don’t know the size ask them to find out or get someone who does. The size is important to know so you can figure out how many people you will sit with at each table and what size tablecloth you will need.
If you have to provide your own tables it is time to research table rental companies. Google table rental and you will find companies that rent just basic folding chairs and white plastic tables and companies that will rent you beautiful wood or Chiavari chairs and wood tables. The rental company may offer a consultation or they may just take your order and deposit. Before you do any of that let’s figure out how many tables and chairs you need.

Head table

Ok, so the most important table is often the one brides forget in their table count. Consider how many people will be at the head table. Just you and your groom? Your whole wedding party? Your kids? Parents or godparents? If it is just you and your groom it is called a sweetheart table and you could do a long, round, or square table.

If you plan on having more than just you two you will need long tables. You do not want to put more than 3-4 people per table at the head table. If you put more than that your head table will feel and look overcrowded. I know tables can be expensive but you don’t want to look like you cant move your elbows in your wedding pictures.

Cake table

Cake! One of my favorite parts of the wedding. Cake makes everyone happy! Ok, so this is an easy one. First how big is your cake and what else will be on the cake table. In most cases a long or round table will work. If you are having a large cake you probably want a round table to accommodate the large first layer.

Gift/guest book table

You need a place for all of your cards and gifts. Will you be doing a guest book or some other form of a guest book? Lots of people use the same table but you may decide you want two. Decide and add them to your count.

Guest tables

Ok so here is the hard one. There are thousands of memes dedicated to expressing how stressful it is to get a guest count for a reason. The people you rent tables from know this but they still need an estimate. First, let’s consider how many people you invited. Are you requiring an rsvp or not? Take an actual count of how many people you expect per invitation. Industry-standard says to expect 85% of the number you invited.  I know math. Here is what your equation should be.

Invitation count x .85 = How many people may show up

Let’s pretend your invitation count is 200

200 x .85 =  170 guests

This is typically a good estimate but you know your people so don’t forget to take that into consideration. When picking out tables you should consider the Layout of your venue. What will go where depends on the size of your table you can determine how many tables you need.

48″ (4ft) Round: 5-6
60″ (5ft) Round: 6-8
72″(6ft) Round: 8-10
84” (8ft) Round: 10-12
6′ Long (30×72) Banquet: 6
8′ Long (30×96) Banquet: 8

Take how many guests you have divided by how many people your table sits with. If you don’t know what table you have just take your guest estimate to your table rental consultation.

Guest estimate ÷ how many your table sits = How many guest tables you need(round up)

In our example, we had 170 guests. Let’s say I am using 8’ long tables that seat 8. Here would be my math:

170 ÷ 8 = 21.25 (Round up to 22 tables)

Now double check your work and write it on your worksheet.

Desert bar

Are you having a popcorn, pie, candy, donuts, coffee, cookie, cupcake, nut, or snack bar? Having a dessert bar is a fun trend and if you are having one be sure to include it in your table count.

Vendors, wedding party

Here is the one that you may not know you need. Sometimes vendors will require you to provide them with tables. It is common with caterers, DJs makeup artists, hairstylists, and alcohol services. Usually, they make you aware of this upfront but if they didn’t mention it shoot them a quick email or text to find out.

Other specialty tables (favors, champagne, photo display, etc)

We are almost done! If you are planning on any other table or display add them to your worksheet. Some people have memory tables to remember loved ones. I have had clients display wedding photos of all the couples in their family which I loved! You may want a table for your favors or any other items you are providing your guests with.


You should have written down your guest count above. Think about any extra chairs you may need. Some brides have extra chairs available during cocktail hour, in the woman’s restroom, or in the kitchen. When picking out chairs consider size, comfort(guest will be seated for hours) color, and style.

I know it’s a lot! But doing this work will ensure your guests are comfortable and your wedding will go smoothly


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