There are ways to avoid it being too messy as well. Try to save the really messy stuff for dinner that way you can take their clothes off and put them straight into the wash. Most people bathe their babies on a night so you can wash them off in in the bath. The most messy food I find is yoghurt, porridge and other runny food.
For lunch stick to finger foods like rice cakes, bread, steamed veggies, fruit, meat etc.
Obviously invest in some good bibs- most people choose the all over ones that cover baby's arms as well. If you don't want to fork out a lot of money on bibs there are other options. In the summer let them eat topless or even naked- they will love it and you will save on washing. Another great idea was given courtesy of Sarah Bonner from the BLW group on Facebook. She get's old T- Shirts- cuts the sleeves out and uses them as bibs. This is such a cool idea I love it and so environmentally friendly.
On the note of being environmentally friendly you are probably going to want to invest in some reusable cloths as well. You could just use wet wipes- but you'll be going through an awful lot. I would recommend buying some of the supermarket's value range for cleaning up when you're out and about but at home I'd use clothes. Amazon sell some gorgeous packs that are eco friendly and come in all sorts of colours. However my personal favourite thing for cleaning up after feeding time is good old Muslin. The best thing is you'll probably have loads knocking about from when your baby was a new born. By six months you won't be using them much for breastfeeding and they'll just be sat in a drawer. Perfect timing- I use them to clean the little man, clean his high chair, clean the table. They are soft, lightweight and easy to wash.
I also found a little hand flannel thing that I got in a towel set which I use. You put your hand inside it and it's a flannel- I wet it with warm water then clean J's face, then his hands, then the tray. I then dry him off with the muslin.
The other major casualty of baby-led weaning is the floor. You can keep this clean by laying down a mat but I find this too much of a hassle. I tend to broom everything up after each meal then mop every two days unless it's really bad. One thing that was recommended when I was researching for this site is a steam cleaner. These are a bit pricey but I would definitely look in to getting one if you can afford them.
I hope you enjoy BLW enough to put up with the mess- it's a small price to pay!
BLW Mama xxx