Traditionally, at the wedding reception there is a head table then tables for the guests. The head table is a central point in the room, with the newlyweds and their bridal party seated at it.
The traditional head table set up
The typical head table set up seats the entire bridal party – the newlyweds and their attendants. If it’s a long table, the newlyweds sit next to each other at the center of the table, with the groom to the left and the bride to the right (assuming a hetrosexual wedding). The attendants sit next to their respective bride/groom, so a set up with three attendants each will look like this:
Groomsmen | Best Man | Groom | Bride | Maid of Honour | Bridesmaids
If you’re not sold on the traditional idea of a “head table” at your wedding reception, have you thought about doing it differently? There’s no reason not to. Here’s a few different ideas:
Sit at a regular table
Instead of having a table that’s the focal point of the room, keep your table the same as the other guests. Perfect if you’re not fussed on the attention!
A Sweetheart Table
Enjoy your first meal together as a married couple by yourselves, with an intimate table set for two. Ideal if you have a massive wedding party and it’s just too hard to fit everyone at a table, and nice to get together and connect after a big day. This can make shyer couples feel a bit self-conscious as you might feel it “draws attention” to you…
This can be a great way of getting round guests! Allocate two “rotating” seats at each table. You and your new spouse, plus your bridal party (in pairs) can take turns sitting at different tables for each course. This is a lovely way to get around all your guests – but will only work for weddings with either lots of courses, or not many tables 😉
Table Swapping with the families
Similar to the above, but swapping between family tables, so you can eat with each set of parents in turn
Sitting with the family – the really traditional head table
This is traditional in the UK but it’s not common here so it might as well go in the “alternatives” file – have a top table with you & your spouse, your MOH, best man, then your parents, and siblings if you have the room.
Do you like the idea of mixing up your wedding reception with a different head table arrangement? Or are you keen to stick with tradition?