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~ Several long tables strung out in a row, against a wall or free
standing so people can access the food from both sides.
~ Round tables in a row
~ Round tables in a cluster of three, like a clover leaf, boards to
fill in the gaps.
~ Long tables side by side with a raised section down the
center (pile of boards) for a  centerpiece.
~ Three long tables side by side and people walk around the big
square table, this leaves room for an impressive center piece.
A main consideration is 'traffic flow' so that people picking up their meal and returning to their tables, don't have to cross over into those that are just starting to serve themselves.

Here is what the guest tables looked like, they too had a raised
center area, which held flowers, tea lights, disposable cameras,
bubbles and a keepsake Christmas Ornament.

This shows how mini lights were used for the decorations.
The ceiling had an area of suspended chicken wire, which was
hardly noticable.  This help up a 'roof' of mini lights and ivy.
The effect was magical.  Tea lights and candles throughout echoed
the glitter and twinkle of the mini lights.The pillars supporting
the roof were  covered in white fabric to match the drapes
and the fabric was arranged to look like 'bishops sleeves'
curtains. A great way to disguise ugly columns.
The dinner was catered by professionals and the table
linens belonged to the caterers. The Bride and her friends
did much of the decorating themselves.