So you’ve nixed the sweetheart table in favor of a head table at your reception, but now you’re stuck with the stress of arranging the seat placements.
Assigning seats is a least favorite part of planning a wedding reception by many, but a head table adds a complicated element to an already tough task. As the happy couple planning the event, it’s hard deciding how guests will sit at your table in a way that will make you… happy.
At least with a bit of know-how, it doesn’t have to be! There are a few ideas to keep this simple and stress-free so you can spend less time worrying. Keep reading below to learn more about the specifics of a head table and a guide on seating arrangement!
What is the Head Table?
To put it simply, the head table is the table that the newlyweds sit at during the reception. At the very least it will seat two people. Later on in the article, we will go into further detail about who can join the married couple at the head table.
Arranging the head table’s location in the reception venue is a crucial part of planning the event. The head table will be the focal point in the reception’s design, meaning it requires a solid chunk of space and should be seen from your guests’ seats. Aside from serving as a place to sit, the head table’s decor is important too––after all, your guests will spend a lot of time looking at it!
Talk about a tall order! But before you get caught up in a whirlwind of brainstorming design ideas on Pinterest, settle on a basic layout and seating arrangement. This will ensure that everything you plan will fit within the head table’s basic parameters.
Who Usually Sits at the Head Table?
Traditional head tables include the married couple and their wedding party. A classic setup for a reason, this is an excellent way of honoring your loved ones on your special day, as well as surrounding yourself with their warmth and good cheer.
As modern weddings have expanded and shifted our ideas of what a wedding can be, so have our notions of head tables changed. It’s not uncommon for the newlyweds’ parents and other family members to be seated at this spot. Some tables are smaller, only including the married couple, the maid of honor, and the best man. The most intimate seating arrangement of all is a setup called the sweetheart table which only includes the newlyweds sitting side by side.
If there are children in your wedding party, and they are old enough to sit away from their parents, then consider including them in your head table arrangement. This will for sure make them feel special and grown up. Of course, depending on their age and maturity, they might be better off sitting at their parents’ table. Always talk to the parents first!
There is no right answer for who gets to sit at the head table. It is dependent on your tastes and your vision for the wedding reception!
Seating Arrangement Guide
Before you make any decisions about your seating arrangements, review what you’re trying to achieve for your head table with your fiance. Nailing down your wants for the atmosphere and vibes of the reception will help you make the right decision.
Want something cozier so you have a quiet refuge with your spouse? Then downsize! On the other hand, if you prefer your entire wedding party to be included, then err towards a larger setup!
Once you’ve made up your mind comes the actual seating arrangement. Traditionally, the bride and groom sit at the head table’s center with the bride on the groom’s right. Same-sex partners can sit on whatever side they want, but no one has to conform to a particular pattern either. The most important thing is that you are happy and comfortable on your big day.
Well, what about the wedding party? On the other side of the bride and groom is usually the maid of honor and best man, and beside them are bridesmaids and groomsmen. However, do not feel obligated to follow this pattern. The social dynamics between the wedding party may not lend themselves well to this arrangement, not to mention any plus-ones that may be present.
Try to seat your wedding party by common interests with a mix of singles and couples. This will help ease any potential awkwardness and ideally keeps the conversation flowing. Your guests might make a new friend!
What is advised is a seating chart, especially if your wedding is a larger array. Seating charts will keep the event organized by ensuring that everyone has a place at the table. Without one, your wedding party may feel unsure of where to sit or be unable to find a spot at all.
Like everything else, a seating chart is ultimately your choice. A head table should meet your wants and desires first, nor should it be a headache to organize. By keeping that on the forefront, arranging your head table should be a breeze so you can move on to more fun things––like decorating your setup!