Wedding Breakfast Layout: Banquet vs Round

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January 26, 2024
Joe Mallen Photography; Matthew Lawrence Photography; Charlie Bluck Weddings and Photos with Sarah

Happy New Year!

For some, 2024 is the year you become Mr or Mrs, or perhaps it's the year you start searching for your dream wedding venue? The engagement period looks different for everybody. You might have your venue booked; you might be in the midst of viewing venues; you might even be making a list of 'musts' before you even begin to think of where you'll say your "I do's". Whatever your journey looks like, it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming and hence, we at The Old Mill aim to make that process an enjoyable one; bringing those visions to life and making those dreams come true.

Our recent 'Advent Tips' on Instagram explored a variety of top tips and advice for you to consider for your wedding. Make sure to check them out on our highlights, especially if you've only just become fiancés - it could help you get ahead of the game!

This isn't a blog where we talk about us, this is a blog where we talk about you (and your decision-making). January can often be a time when couples finalise the details for their fast-approaching wedding day or realise they still have a long list of things to do before their plans are complete. One, hot topic and a debate that has always been ongoing is the layout and style for a wedding breakfast.

With new trends, decor and styles continually evolving, the decision inevitably becomes harder and harder for those sitting on the fence. Understandably, everyone's wedding journey looks different - some visit venues with a specific layout in mind, whilst many return to the drawing board after hours of weighing up their options. Nevertheless, the purpose of this blog is to dive into a tiny part of your wedding day, but one which could help other decisions much easier for you too: your table layout.

Decor by The Wed Shed / Joe Mallen Photography


Usually, depending on the venue, there will be a few table layouts to choose from. At The Old Mill, we offer our Brides and Grooms the option between a circular or a banquet-style layout. However, other venues may only have one of these options available or perhaps they'll have square tables to offer (these can sometimes limit numbers, hence we tend to suggest other options, though it is possible). Let's explore some of the reasons for the two most popular layouts at The Old Mill.

Banquet / Straight

The word 'banquet' can sometimes be attached to a formal, historic feel, although, this trendy layout is far from that!


Tables can look considerably full with only minimal amounts of decor and candles light up this space beautifully, creating a symmetrical, structured format. Merging sophistication with a sense of 'wow' to your wedding breakfast vibe. Not only does the decor bring elegance to this table layout, but there tends to be minimal white space left once runners, candles and even plates have been laid onto the tables. Therefore, maximising opportunities to embed your wedding theme and colour into the space.

Decor by The Wed Shed / Joe Mallen Photography


An assumption that many people attach to a long table layout is an 'antisocial' stigma. However, with more spaces to seat on each table comes with more people to socialise with. Not to mention, the Bride/Groom have even more flexibility in their table plan and avoid having to find certain groups of people who they think will chat with one another. Besides, with all your guests seated parallel to each other removes the need to number your tables - equalising the love you have for all your friends and family surrounding you on your wedding day.

Charlie Bluck Weddings


Ultimately, a significant reason for choosing banquet tables can be to optimise the space available. This fluid layout maximises the space in your chosen venue and therefore, has the ability to accommodate larger numbers with the comfort of dressing a space you love.

Round / Circular


With round tables comes a circular, flowing motion with an increased table space to experiment with. Larger and impressive table decor is certainly more apt for this layout. So, if you're someone that loves the extravagant tablescapes or has dreamt of incorporating as much decor as possible into your wedding breakfast, a circular layout is certainly the one for you.

Group by group

These spacious table options also offer an ideal environment for unique and shareable wedding breakfasts. For example, sharing boards, platters and BBQs; replicating a real family friendly vibe with those grouped together. Almost depicting a dinner-time feel or a laid back approach.

Table Decor and Design by The Wed Shed / Joe Mallen Photography


With no head or foot of a circular table means guests can be equally positioned across the space itself. Whilst it is likely that more tables will be needed and thus, particular groups to organise, an inclusive seating arrangement for those on each table can be achieved - a sense of unity and equality.

Decor and Glassware by The Wed Shed / Photos with Sarah

What will it be?

Wedding breakfasts and their table layouts will always carry a debate and your wedding deserves the preferences and choices that you decide to give it. However, the sole aim of this blog was to simply highlight that both a banquet and a circular layout bring various advantages to your wedding breakfast - the list could go on and on. The hardest part is prioritising what matters for both you and your partner!

Perhaps, what you might have initially pictured is actually something worth considering more about - guest numbers, venue location and decor ideas all have a significant part to play in your thoughts. It's best to always weigh up your options for any wedding decision, however, this is one we always tend to see couples swing between and thought we'd offer a few tips about!

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