Wedding Etiquette Forum

Bridal Party Dates at Head Table?

I have never seen the dates of the bridal party included at the head table. Maybe the Midwest doesn't do it.

Is this really a have-to-do thing?

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Re: Bridal Party Dates at Head Table?

  • I have never seen the dates of the bridal party included at the head table. Maybe the Midwest doesn't do it.

    Is this really a have-to-do thing?

    Yes. Please do not do this to your wedding party. Excluding their dates from the head table sends the message that you expect them to honor your relationship, but you do not respect/honor theirs.
    STARMOON44InLoveInQueensPrettyGirlLost
  • I've never seen this done either and I'm from Chicagoland (north)....however, if you want to include your bridal party's dates then you could do a sweethearts table instead of the head table and have a table for your wedding party + SOs
  • I don't plan on doing a sweetheart table because I think it's a little AH-ish. FI and I have both been BM/GM at weddings when the other wasn't and we have never sat together. We have been seated at tables with friends so we weren't alone, which I plan to do with my BP's dates.
  • edited December 2015
    Just because it's been done to you in the past does not make it okay.  The fact that you've been split up from your SO at weddings doesn't make it any less rude.

    Don't do this to your BP. Let them sit with their SOs. Aren't the feelings of your friends more important than your "vision" for your head table? They should be. 

    Edit: grammar
    --

    InLoveInQueensPrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Please don't separate your bridal party from their SOs.  The bridal party doesn't even need to sit together.

    We had a sweetheart table.  2 of DH's groomsmen were his brothers, so they sat with their family.  The other groomsman had a wife & 2 young children at the wedding.  He sat with them.  My MOH (sister) sat with my parents.  BM 1 sat with her husband (my brother) & daughter (flower girl).  BM 2 sat with her date with my other college friends.
    InLoveInQueensPrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • When I first read about this, I was amazed. I have never ever seen dates at head tables. My MOH stood up in two weddings this season, they both had head tables and her date was sat at either a "date table" or with friends. This is such an alien thing to me.
  • AddieCake said:
    I don't know what's AW-ish about a sweetheart table. Nobody is ogling you there any more than they are at the altar or during a first dance. 

    Not letting your bridal party sit with their dates is not nice. 
    Agreed. For us, a sweetheart table just made the most sense. Why try to deal with a huge head table with BP and SOs? It was easier to just let our BP sit with their SOs at tables with their friends or family. 

    We barely sat at our sweetheart table anyway. Sat there during toasts, then scarfed down some food and then got up and made table visits.  I never even went back later in the night to eat my slice of cake (woops)
    --

  • I've been pleasantly surprised that at the last several weddings I've been to in the last two years, the couple either had a sweetheart table or sat SOs with the wedding party at the head table.
    Even the wedding I went to last year with a money dance still sat their BP and SOs together.

    And these were all Midwest weddings (Minneapolis, St. Louis, rural Missouri, Iowa, Chicago).


    PPs have given great suggestions to alternatives to a sweetheart table.



    It's nice that you weren't too bothered when you were separated from your SO at those weddings, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't bother others.

    Depending on circles of friends, it's very possible that some SOs might know very few other people at the wedding. This can make things very uncomfortable for those SOs and a good hostess should not make decisions that will make her guests uncomfortable.

    And even if someone maybe "doesn't mind" being separated, that doesn't mean that they still wouldn't prefer sitting together.


    Your bridal party is your nearest and dearest. Let your nearest and dearest sit with the person they are closest to. It's the kind thing to do.


    lc07[Deleted User]
  • I agree that it is rude, and I really didn't want to do a head table at all because of it. But my whole bridal party (and DH) insisted on it, so we did it anyway. The WP members were upset when I told them there would be a sweetheart table, and it wasn't possible to have a table that would seat 20 people in my venue. So they all urged me to do a head table and seat the dates in the crowd ("because we want to sit with you, and that's part of being in the BP, and it makes us more ~special~") At that point in my wedding planning I had too much other drama (like MIL and DH's insistence at a partially cash bar) that I was like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ and moved on.

    My DH has had the fortune of being in a TON of wedding parties, and I personally don't mind sitting through dinner without him as long as I know other people at the wedding, which has always been the case.

    My personal experience doesn't make it okay, though and I'm going still going to echo others in saying that yup, it's rude. 

    FWIW, I'm in the mid-west and I almost always see the BP at a head table with the dates elsewhere. I still think it's rude, but it was also the reasoning my bridal party acted all offended when I suggested we do something different.


    InLoveInQueens
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I don't plan on doing a sweetheart table because I think it's a little AH-ish. FI and I have both been BM/GM at weddings when the other wasn't and we have never sat together. We have been seated at tables with friends so we weren't alone, which I plan to do with my BP's dates.
    As a bride, the sweetheart table was nice to get a few minutes alone with my husband. There wasn't a spotlight on us and a sign saying "look at them eat!!!!!". The times I've been the date of a bridal party member (my husband or ex-boyfriend), I've always sat with him.  When I was dating my ex, he was the best man at his brother's wedding.  I didn't know anyone there except for his parents & his sister.  I was so relieved that we sat together because I would've felt reallllly isolated.
    When I first read about this, I was amazed. I have never ever seen dates at head tables. My MOH stood up in two weddings this season, they both had head tables and her date was sat at either a "date table" or with friends. This is such an alien thing to me.
    I imagine your MOH would be thankful that you'd be the "weird" bride and let her sit with her date.


    Seriously, though.  By the time you get to the reception & eat, your bridal party is essentially "done".  Let them enjoy their time with their date.
    PrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • I have definitely seen WP members separated from their dates- lots of times, but that doesn't mean it is the best (or etiquette approved) option.

    We had our WP dates sit at our head table. 

    When DH was best man 2 years ago, the B&G had a sweetheart table, then sat all the WP members+dates at their own table. I thought this was nice too, because I didn't really know anyone else. I had met other WP members and their spouses before, but didn't know them well.

    Sure, I can manage to sit by myself and make small talk with the other guests like an adult, but considering a wedding is a social event, one honoring relationships no less, it is preferable to be able to sit with my DH. 


    [Deleted User]
  • MobKaz said:

    I have never seen the dates of the bridal party included at the head table. Maybe the Midwest doesn't do it.

    Is this really a have-to-do thing?

    PLEASE  don't make this a regional issue, because it is NOT. 

    My daughter and son both married in Chicago.  My daughter had an "adjusted" sweetheart table. Her MOH and SO, and his BM and SO joined them at the sweetheart table.  The remainder of their wedding party sat with their SO's and group of friends among the guest tables.

    At my son's wedding, his seating mimicked more of a king's table.  Both sets of parents, the bride and groom, siblings, and their MOH, BM, and their SO's all sat together at a table.

    Be the first to "break the mold" in your circle.  MANY people continue to perpetuate poor etiquette because "that's what has been done".  I'm a Chicagoan who knows how to host properly regardless of "what is done".  You may have never joined your SO at a wedding before, but wouldn't it be lovely if you did? 
    I have joined my FI at weddings. Most of them he did not stand up, but of the few he did, we didn't sit together. He is going to be a GM in January (CA) and a BM in April (FL) and I can guarantee that I will not be seated with the rest of the bridal party. I'm not butt-hurt over it because I have never expected to sat with them. (these are friends of FI and are not in the same circle)
  • I can manage to occupy myself for a meal without my FI next to me. I can't wrap my head around why this is such a huge deal.
    mntravelingmamaAroundTheBlock
  • MobKaz said:

    I have never seen the dates of the bridal party included at the head table. Maybe the Midwest doesn't do it.

    Is this really a have-to-do thing?

    PLEASE  don't make this a regional issue, because it is NOT. 

    My daughter and son both married in Chicago.  My daughter had an "adjusted" sweetheart table. Her MOH and SO, and his BM and SO joined them at the sweetheart table.  The remainder of their wedding party sat with their SO's and group of friends among the guest tables.

    At my son's wedding, his seating mimicked more of a king's table.  Both sets of parents, the bride and groom, siblings, and their MOH, BM, and their SO's all sat together at a table.

    Be the first to "break the mold" in your circle.  MANY people continue to perpetuate poor etiquette because "that's what has been done".  I'm a Chicagoan who knows how to host properly regardless of "what is done".  You may have never joined your SO at a wedding before, but wouldn't it be lovely if you did? 
    I have joined my FI at weddings. Most of them he did not stand up, but of the few he did, we didn't sit together. He is going to be a GM in January (CA) and a BM in April (FL) and I can guarantee that I will not be seated with the rest of the bridal party. I'm not butt-hurt over it because I have never expected to sat with them. (these are friends of FI and are not in the same circle)
    I can manage to occupy myself for a meal without my FI next to me. I can't wrap my head around why this is such a huge deal.
    You asked in your first post - "Is this really a have-to-do thing?" and we are telling you yes.

    Don't ask a question if you don't want to hear the answer.




    Let me turn the tables for a minute and ask you the same question .... you say:  "I can manage to occupy myself for a meal without my FI next to me. I can't wrap my head around why this is such a huge deal."  Why can't you manage to occupy yourself for a meal without your bridal party next to you without their SO?    

    IMHO, it's just super weird to have the dates at the head table. It just is. The head table is for the B&G and the bridal party. Period. It has been this way for decades. It seems just recently that everyone feels so entitled that they cant sit without their "bae" for a meal without getting offended.

  • SP29 said:
    You could also do a King's table, either at the head or in the centre of the room, to include B&G, WP + dates. 

    The point is, although anyone can manage to occupy them self through dinner (and toasts, and maybe a first dance) without their SO, they shouldn't have to. At any social event, a guest should have their SO invited. A wedding is a social event. It celebrates the love and union of the B&G; it is "unfair" (for lack of better word) to celebrate this for the B&G but ignore it for the WP or other guests. It's kind of backwards for the B&G to eat dinner together, and for the rest of their guests to eat dinner with their SOs but not the WP. 

    Why not have the bride sit with her side of the WP at one table, and the groom sit at another table with his side? Most people would put their foot down on that- "because we just got married". Again, why acknowledge that relationship, but not the others? 

    Most of our BP are couples so that would def split them up.
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    SP29 said:
    You could also do a King's table, either at the head or in the centre of the room, to include B&G, WP + dates. 

    The point is, although anyone can manage to occupy them self through dinner (and toasts, and maybe a first dance) without their SO, they shouldn't have to. At any social event, a guest should have their SO invited. A wedding is a social event. It celebrates the love and union of the B&G; it is "unfair" (for lack of better word) to celebrate this for the B&G but ignore it for the WP or other guests. It's kind of backwards for the B&G to eat dinner together, and for the rest of their guests to eat dinner with their SOs but not the WP. 

    Why not have the bride sit with her side of the WP at one table, and the groom sit at another table with his side? Most people would put their foot down on that- "because we just got married". Again, why acknowledge that relationship, but not the others? 

    Most of our BP are couples so that would def split them up.
    Wait, hold on ... here's how I read this...

    Let's say you have 4 bridesmaids (A,B,C,D) and your FI has 4 groomsmen (E,F,G,H).  What I'm hearing you say is that A & E are a couple, B & F are a couple, and C & G are a couple.  

    Am I understanding you?
  • PamBeesly524PamBeesly524 member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2015


    IMHO, it's just super weird to have the dates at the head table. It just is. The head table is for the B&G and the bridal party. Period. It has been this way for decades. It seems just recently that everyone feels so entitled that they cant sit without their "bae" for a meal without getting offended.

    BOXBOX

    I think we can all "manage", but dont you want your guests to have the best time possible?

    Also if most of your party are couples then what's the big deal?

    ETF: quote tree got way messed up
    STARMOON44
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