Layout Logistics

Sometimes math gives me a headache. OK, actually it always gives me a headache. I am amazed at where I am today considering how poorly I did in college calculus. (I’m not looking to give details, but just know there were no As, Bs, or Cs involved.)

I am definitely a big-picture person. I can see the big vision, but often get bored with all the details that help achieve it. As I discussed previously, I was getting pretty pumped to have a grand feasting table that would weave in and out of the trees at our reception site. After looking at a few rental companies, I realized serpentine tables were what I needed. Used properly, serpentine tables can look fantastic.


Image via Inspired to Share / Photo by Gia Canali

After feeling confident in my table decision, I started to panic about how the tables would be set up. I worried the layout wouldn’t work out, and I wanted to confirm the space would fit our guest count. So I waited until my mom was in town, gathered the rest of the troops (aka Christi, my coordinator, as well as the florist I am using, Arlene Floral Designs), and had everyone meet at the reception site. Arlene showed up with this bad boy:


Walkable Tape Measure / Image via eBay

This was an awesome tool that allowed us to “walk out” where the tables would go to make sure they would fit in the available space. As we were walking and measuring, Arlene asked if we were having double feasting tables. I quickly reminder her, “Nope, we are doing single serpentine tables.”

Problem #1

When Arlene and I had discussed the table decor, we planned on having long rows of moss covered with flowers and candles…going down the length of all the tables. The problem with a single row of serpentine tables is that they are only three feet wide. With the table decor in the middle, the guests on both sides of the table would have less than a foot of space for their meal. Not acceptable.


Double serpentine tables!

Christi started drawing out a design where the curves of the serpentine table fit within each other (or as I like to think of it…spooning tables :) ).

Problem #2

As she drew, we quickly realized that this would cause the ends of the tables to be staggered. This meant there would be people randomly sticking out at the ends and some interesting angles that no one really wanted to spend the time computing.


Problems #3, 4 5, 6, 7…

Renting serpentine tables are more expensive than traditional round or rectangular (which I was willing to overlook), but finding affordable linens to cover the tables proved to be an even bigger nightmare! Because of the angles, rectangular linens wouldn’t work. I briefly considered having a serious date with my sewing machine to whip up some linens, but then realized that would be a pretty miserable decision.

Final Solution:

Nix the serpentine tables.

It was a sad day for the Squirrel clan.

I took a step back and tried to reflect on what was drawing me to these tables in the first place. More important than the curves is the fact that everyone is sitting TOGETHER, celebrating TOGETHER, at ONE table. Rectangular tables could certainly accomplish this, I just had to take off my diva hat.

With Arlene’s awesome measuring tool, we mapped out the space and created an interesting Tetris sort of shape so the tables would fit between the trees. I am really excited about the layout we came up with and, most importantly, I still get to seat everyone at the same table. In the end, it all works out. :)


Image created by Winsor Event Studio

Any guesses on what the red lines are for??


Mrs. Squirrel

Tampa, FL
Wedding Date:
May 2013
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  1. Member
    vintagebride143 454 posts, Helper bee @ 11:47 am

    Red lines: my guess is the optimal viewing distance from seats to the dance floor? OR range of distance for bouquet toss?

  2. Member
    hma812 368 posts, Helper bee @ 11:53 am


  3. Member
    hma812 368 posts, Helper bee @ 11:57 am

    Drapery. Would draping be correct? It sounds weird to me now.

  4. Member
    HarrySally 22 posts, Newbee @ 12:14 pm


  5. Guest Icon Guest
    anon, Guest @ 12:26 pm

    string lights?!

  6. Member
    lealorali 4827 posts, Honey bee @ 1:54 pm

    That serpentine set-up gave me a HUGE wedding boner.

    Isn’t it so disappointing that we have all these wonderful ideas and then they get crushed by logistics and money??

  7. graywolf Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 3:35 pm

    @lealorali: haha me too!


  8. panda Member
    Mrs. Panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:41 pm

    I love the idea of a gigantic table, especially tetris style. I wish we had the space to do something similar. I assume there’s going to be spacing between the tables, so you don’t have to go all the way around to get from one side to the other? I can’t wait to see how it all comes together

  9. Member
    mssmiley 349 posts, Helper bee @ 6:02 pm

    red lines def have to be light strands…. they go from all the trees to the dancefloor and are central to your dining area! i am swooning over the c-9 garden lights out there, but don’t think we’ll find room in our budget for them.

  10. Member
    mrshollinger 1109 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:21 am

    Please, please, please let the red lines be string lights.

    I am soo jealous of your outdoor seating! The serpentine tables would have looked pretty… but with this tetris style people are actually grouped a lot closer together!

    Cannot wait to see the pictures!

  11. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 12:12 pm

    Your new set up looks fun!
    Not gonna lie, I thought the red lines were optimal routes to the bar before I looked at the other comments. Lights makes more sense :)

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Christine, Guest @ 12:20 pm

    If it cheers you up at all, I’m pretty sure your inspiration picture isn’t serpentine tables. Look one inch up from the bottom of the picture – where the table starts to curve to the right. Looks like there is a gap there. It’s just two rectangular tables set at an angle to each other (with normal linen on them to boot!).

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    waitingalongtime, Guest @ 8:42 am

    The red lines are how the lights are going to hang??

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