We will have about 75 (more or less) guests… Cocktail hour won’t be seated (I don’t think… is that bad??)…

My daughter’s was at a yacht club, so cocktail hour was on a huge wraparound deck. We had 5 large tables for seating, 6 hi tops, plus all the benches and seperate deck chairs to use. Hi tops are used usually only by 2-4 people, since the surface area is too small to hold much more than a few drinks. Add in some small food plates and they get pretty crowded quickly.

I am not doing a seated cocktail hour either.. I will have a few chairs for the older folks in the crowd but for about 100 people I am going to plan on about 8-10 high tops for people to place their drinks etc.

My daughter’s was at a yacht club, so cocktail hour was on a huge wraparound deck. We had 5 large tables for seating, 6 hi tops, plus all the benches and seperate deck chairs to use. Hi tops are used usually only by 2-4 people, since the surface area is too small to hold much more than a few drinks. Add in some small food plates and they get pretty crowded quickly.

We will have about 75 (more or less) guests… Cocktail hour won’t be seated (I don’t think… is that bad??)…

I am not doing a seated cocktail hour either.. I will have a few chairs for the older folks in the crowd but for about 100 people I am going to plan on about 8-10 high tops for people to place their drinks etc.

So, whether for your parent’s wedding anniversary, or a class reunion, or an executive conference, you’ve decided to have a cocktail party. The problem is, you don’t know how many of what kind of table you need. You think cocktail party and you automatically say, “Well, I need cocktail tables right?” Yes, but they aren’t the only things you need. First, how many people do you have? We’re going to start a bunch of math here, so we need a number to start with. For the purpose of this example, we’ll say you are realistically expecting **60 people**. At any one time, you should expect **one-third** of your guests to sit. So, for our example you need **20 **chairs, with smaller tables to accommodate them (a 36″ round table will seat 4, so you get 5 of those tables). OK, so people can sit. But what about the people standing at those high cocktail tables? Again, at any one time you should expect **one-third** of your guests to gather at the cocktail tables, so again for our example that’s another **20** people.** But since they’re standing, you can fit 5 people at a cocktail table,** so divide that last **20** by **5**, and you get **4** cocktail tables. The rest of your guests are basically going to stand around in their own little clusters. Don’t forget a bar! Unless you have more than 80 people, you should be able to manage with** 1** bar.

Standard cocktail tables typically have a plywood top, so linens are needed to cover them. In almost every case, you will want the linen to be floor length. The linen size needed will vary based on the diameter and height of the table. In some cases, you may want to use an oversized linen, and cinch it around the center column with a sash, if that is the look you want. If you do want this look, make sure the cocktail tables you rent have a center column, and not folding legs.

Most cocktail tables are round, and are typically 30” or 36” in diameter, and either 30” or 42” tall. The 30” tall ones are often called “lowboys”, and the 42” tall ones are “highboys” or “high tops”. The low cocktail tables are generally set with four or five chairs. The tall ones are often used without any seating, or may be used with two to four barstools.

We are often asked how many cocktail tables are needed for a typical cocktail reception at a wedding. As a general guideline, we suggest that you provide a combination of enough low and tall cocktail tables to accommodate roughly 25 – 35% of your guests. Cocktail receptions are a time to mix, mingle, and socialize; you don’t want most of your guests to be seated, but it is nice to provide some seating, and some tall tables to provide places for your guests to set a plate, or a drink. The use of bar stools at the tall cocktail tables is very popular; we often use 36” highboys with two bar stools. Typically, two couples will take a table; the ladies usually take a seat, and the men stand.

For a less formal, more contemporary look, consider renting brushed aluminum cocktail tables; these tables are available in several sizes (low and tall), and are designed to be used without linens. The aluminum tables are especially nice for outdoor events as you don’t have to worry about the wind blowing the linens off of your tables.

Another popular idea for outdoor events is to put a tall cocktail table, or two, under one of our 9’ Market Umbrellas to provide a shady spot to relax with a cocktail on a sunny day.

## FAQ

**How many tables do I need for 100 guests?**

Typically, if you are serving buffet style, with lines moving along both sides, you will need **two 8′ banquet tables** per 100 guests.

**How many tables do you need for a cocktail party?**

**1 cocktail table for every 4-5 guests**. Simply take the number of guests and divide by 4 or 5. So if you have 100 guests, plan on 20-25 cocktail table rentals.

**How many people does a cocktail table fit?**

**two to four guests**and can be paired with barstool chairs for the taller tables or set low with standard chairs.

**How many people can a 30 inch cocktail table sit?**

A 36” round cocktail table or 30” round table can fit about **4-5 people**.