Aside from the ceremony, the second most important part of the wedding is the reception meal where, for one special night, all of your friends, family, and loved ones will sit together in your honor, making it a truly magical night of revisiting cherished memories and creating new ones. For those hosting a large wedding, there's no easier way to make your celebration feel warm and intimate than with long, banquet-style reception tables. What are some other benefits of long tables? We're glad you asked...
- Not only are they beautiful and romantic, but they're perfect for facilitating conversation among your guests—especially for people who are meeting for the first time or haven't seen each other in a long time. You want to make sure you're not sequestering people to smaller tables when they don't get to see each other very often. Weddings are supposed to be a time of celebrating you, the couple, but also a coming together for the celebration.
- They're easily customizable, serving as blank canvases and giving you myriad style possibilities to suit you and your partner's tastes for a night in good company.
- They make for some amazing photos. Surely you've seen the long, winding table reception photos all over Pinterest—imagine doing one super long table? Talk about Insta-worthy.
- There are more options for centerpieces. If you have smaller, round tables you can't execute a runner, and you won't have the same impact with candles—even if you place a lot on a small table, it looks much more impressive to have tons and tons sweeping down a long table.
Whether you're hosting backyard nuptials or a classic ballroom ceremony, a long reception table can make your guests feel right at home. Rustic wooden tables are perfect for family-style seating, where guests can pass along various dishes and choose their own portions and plates.
Add a dash of whimsy with lush greenery garlands or floral centerpieces that adorn the length of the table, dotted with mismatched plates and silverware for a garden party vibe. If you're hosting a more elegant bash, drape your tables with neutral colors like ivory or slate for a clean, airy look and pair with gilded accents and dark wooden chairs. For lighting, consider using hanging café lights to brighten up the night's toasts or opt for romantic candelabras to create a truly magical setting.
With any of these long reception table ideas, your guests will feel like a special part of your big day. Click through our slideshow to see how you can design your own.
A monochrome tent and hanging greenery all the way down the table? Now that's what we call dreamy. Oh, and sign us up for those basket hanging pendant lamps.
Double up on Greenery and Linen
Who says one runner is all you need? Double up on both greenery and a soft and organic linen like this one and then put as many candles as you can possibly fit and run 'em all the way down the table.
Incorporate Jewel Tones
The perfect way to get in those moody jewel tones for a beginning of fall wedding? Add vintage colored glasses in deep blues and golds and then mix with matching taper candles and brass candlesticks.
Go for Colorful Linen
Long tables feel dramatic and interesting with colored linens in surprising palettes instead of a neutral (which we also love). This one feels right for a spring brunch wedding—just add a mimosa bar.
Try Exposed Wood
Who needs linens to cover your long tables when they're so beautiful on their own? Skip the tablecloths if you've got wooden beauties like these.
Shorter Banquet Tables
In case you don't want to go too dramatically long with your table, but still like the idea, try shorter banquet tables for a similar feel.
Romantic and Classic
Try a long, romantic reception table with floral centerpieces, crisp white dinnerware, and rustic cross-back chairs.
Winding Reception Tables
A crisp, winding reception table decorated with arrangements of baby's breath and vintage dinnerware pairs well with dark, fold-back wooden chairs.
Match the Mood of the Venue
We love this long, rustic reception table decorated with colorful flower arrangements, mismatched candles, and eclectic dinnerware. An industrial, urban space—like a renovated factory or warehouse or a brewery—would be the perfect place to pull off this look.
Have Pops of Color
Go all out with your long tables and really make them pop with a bright and cheery linen color like this bright coral. The floral garland echoes the linens and brings everything together. Just make sure you go more neutral with the rest of your décor so it doesn't get too overwhelming.
A Gray, White, and Green Palette
Nothing says modern classic like a subtle palette of grays, whites, and greens. Also, greenery chandeliers are a fairly inexpensive way to make an impact at your reception.
Get Heat Lamps to Keep Warm
A long, elegant reception table decorated with crisp dinnerware, a wispy greenery table runner, and lined with dark wooden chairs screams class. (And heat lamps are certainly an important part of an outdoor reception if you're planning on getting married somewhere cooler).
Ivy as Decoration
A seemingly hidden and tucked away courtyard is filled with a long table fit for a feast. No need for extra décor, the ivy-covered walls are all the decoration you need.
Bring in a Hanging Garden
Nothing dresses up a reception like (what appears to be) a hanging garden. This thick and winding greenery installation feels wild and whimsical and is a perfect way to bring the outdoors inside.
Customize Your Tables
Who needs flowers when you've got potatoes and grasses and dozens of candles in every color of the rainbow? This couple constructed these custom tables themselves for an artsy-cool reception.
Try Dark Linens
We love the dark blue linens on these tables. Although it may not work in a smaller space, in a huge and open room like this it adds some drama. So does that big, beautiful fireplace and the floral installation over it.
Go Effortlessly Chic
A subtle palette of light blue, wood, brick, and whites make for an effortlessly chic setup. Add in some romantic curtains and lots of candlelight to really set the tone.
An Industrial Feel
Bare wooden tables mirror the industrial feel of this venue, and are dressed up with modern, tropical centerpieces in bright poppy colors.
Have Fun With the Lighting
Why just have one or two chandeliers when you can have 10? When you've got more table length, you've got more space for fun hanging installations and lighting.
Black and White Tablescapes
With a room as grand as this, you barely need decorations—but we'll take all black and white tablescapes and centerpieces any day of the week.
A Subtle Tropical Vibe
This crisp reception feels subtly tropical (dried palm leaves, cane chairs), and equal parts airy and dreamy.
Merge Your Ceremony and Reception Space
Why have separate ceremony and reception spaces when you can combine the two this beautifully? We love the idea of using reception tables as seating during the ceremony, especially with the way these tables are positioned.
Keep It Simple
A budget-saving tip: Craft paper as a runner and a garland made only of greenery. Have your planner source vintage brass candlesticks to round out this classic look.