MULLINS Special Occasions
Canopies and tents
Using CAD to Plan the Perfect Wedding Layout
Posted by: Sarah Lawen Smith May 18, 2024

The Brief

This client was planning a wedding ceremony at a family farm, followed by a reception at a local community center. While they planned for the ceremony to take place in an open field, they planned to move it under a tent in the event of rain. This tent needed to be large enough to fit a wedding arch, a guestbook table, and guest seating with a central aisle for the wedding party to walk down. The reception needed to include banquet seating and buffet tables, and it needed to work around a large built-in stage where a band would be performing. The client expected a maximum of 70 guests attending. With all this in mind, we got to work!

The Ceremony

Having a rain plan is always advisable for an outdoor wedding, so this client was off to a great start in their planning. For this tented ceremony arrangement, a 20’x30’ canopy was the best fit. This size tent had just enough room to accommodate 7 rows of 5 chairs on either side of a generous 4-foot wide aisle, leaving ample space for the wedding party and their escorts to walk side-by-side. This tent’s vaulted canopy left plenty of room for a wedding arch of any size, and the angled chairs leave plenty of room for bride, groom, and officiant to before the guests, while also leaving room at the tent’s entrance for the guestbook table and a decorative sign. We can only hope that the weather is perfect day-of, but with this plan in place it is reassuring to know that the ceremony can still resume as planned should it happen to rain.

The Reception

Planning an event layout inside a building can be a little trickier than a tent, especially if the room is an odd shape or has existing furniture or built-in features. This venue happened to have both. A wooden stage was built against the east wall, and an L-shaped counter lined the wall of one of the two connecting side rooms. For cases like this, a site check is crucial for getting accurate measurements of the space and a good feel for where possible obstacles might arise. Once we had accurate measurements in hand, we started by recreating the floorplan in our CAD system, making sure to include the built-ins. 

Now with this floorplan we are able to test layouts in the room to find the perfect fit. The client liked the look of round tables for their event, so we tested them out in the room to see what would fit. What we quickly found is that the room was simply too small to support enough round tables to seat 70 guests. If you utilized the empty side room to set up the buffet tables, leaving the entire main room for round table seating, you could still only fit 8 round tables in the space. While this did get the client close to her guest count with 64 chairs, the client agreed that they would rather be able to seat all guests, as well as have more walking space for easy egress. 

While round tables are notorious for filling up a space (a 60” round table requires 100 square feet of space to fit comfortably), rectangle banquet tables are known for space efficiency. IN this client’s layout, we decided to swap 8 round tables for 12 6-foot banquet tables. Not only did this fit the venue better in terms of space, but it allowed us to bring that delicious buffet out of the corner, as well as seat a full 72 guests. The client looked at this plan and was much happier with this layout. With the perfect plan and a solid understanding of the venue in place, we were able to help the client rent exactly what item they needed, confident that it would work just as planned. 

Have an event coming up?

We would love to help you discover the perfect layout for your event so you can plan with confidence. Call us to schedule your free site check today!

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