Wedding Reception Forum

Head Table v. Sweetheart Table

Hi all,

Just interested in hearing thoughts on sweetheart table vs. traditional head table.

 As has been expressed in many posts, the concept of a head table where the bridal party sits but cannot have their dates seems to be rude and in very poor taste, and something I intend to avoid. Putting everybody on one big table seems to be confusing in terms of seating to me, though. We already have more bridesmaids than groomsmen, and more bridesmaids have SOs than the groomsmen (although one bridesmaid is engaged to one of the groomsmen, so whatever we do I want them to be able to sit beside one another). I know that our friend's relationship statuses could change between now and then, and that the groomsmen could just bring a friend or casual date, but if not, I'm not sure how I would have the head table seating arranged.

Currently, I kind of like this setup at the back of the room where the head table would be, but once again, numbers may not match on both sides. 




What did you all do /plan to do when it comes to head table v. sweetheart table? Any creative thoughts on how to arrange seating for both when the number of groomsmen and their dates and bridesmaids and dates are different? Did you just stagger them on either side of the bride and groom to make it more even, or what?
                    


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Re: Head Table v. Sweetheart Table

  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We did the same as @JaxinBlue . My sisters and SILs were seated with their respective families, the rest of the bridal party/SOs were seated with other friends (or family if their families were also invited) who were in the same circle so they were probably split among 3 different tables depending on what group they were friends with. It was waaayyy easier to manage than having a bridal party-centric table.



    tigerlily6charlotte989875
  • Hi all,

    Just interested in hearing thoughts on sweetheart table vs. traditional head table.

     As has been expressed in many posts, the concept of a head table where the bridal party sits but cannot have their dates seems to be rude and in very poor taste, and something I intend to avoid. Putting everybody on one big table seems to be confusing in terms of seating to me, though. We already have more bridesmaids than groomsmen, and more bridesmaids have SOs than the groomsmen (although one bridesmaid is engaged to one of the groomsmen, so whatever we do I want them to be able to sit beside one another). I know that our friend's relationship statuses could change between now and then, and that the groomsmen could just bring a friend or casual date, but if not, I'm not sure how I would have the head table seating arranged.

    Currently, I kind of like this setup at the back of the room where the head table would be, but once again, numbers may not match on both sides. 




    What did you all do /plan to do when it comes to head table v. sweetheart table? Any creative thoughts on how to arrange seating for both when the number of groomsmen and their dates and bridesmaids and dates are different? Did you just stagger them on either side of the bride and groom to make it more even, or what?
    I would definitely not split them up by bridesmaids and groomsmen.  What if your FI is having your brother as a groomsman and you're having his wife as a bridesmaid?  Also, wouldn't it just make more sense for your college friend/bridesmaid to sit with your other college friends rather than your sister/MOH and cousins/bridesmaids?  Just consider that once they're at the reception, their "jobs" are over and they should just be considered regular guests.  Forget about whether they're in the bridal party and just sit them where it makes the most sense.
    tigerlily6InLoveInQueensILoveBeachMusicPrettyGirlLost
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We did like Jax also.  SILs, BIL and their dates sat with MIL.  My siblings, SO and my one friend BM sat with my parents.   The other friend GM sat with other friends.  

    We sat with the younger members of our WP. Our table was in the middle mixed in with all the other tables. 

    You can choose to sit with your parents, your MOH and BM (and their dates/sos).  Sit with all your siblings (and their dates).   There are a lot of options.


    My DH was in his sister's wedding.  She sat us and his brother (also in the wedding) with his mom.  The other WP members sat with their dates and various tables.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    tigerlily6
  • We are having a sweetheart table and then sitting the bridal party and their families/date in with the guests. My and FHs parents and family will be seating at the tables closest to us and then the bridal party will be 2nd closest. The bridal party are still guests, and a great host will make sure the guests are taken care of, and to me that means letting them sit with the people they are there with.
    tigerlily6
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Brilliant idea, ladies! I love it -- simple and easily planned! I have two younger brothers (both currently single), and can put them with either my parents or close cousins/friends of theirs. FI has a brother and sister-in-law-to-be (the engaged couple who are both in the bridal party), so they can sit with FI's family. Some of my other close college friends I know would probably enjoy sitting with some of our guests who are mutual friends. 

    The only bridal party members who may not have many other mutual friends are the MOH (+ her boyfriend), and the Best Man (currently single). They are both close friends from our childhoods, and while they're close with our respective parents/siblings, don't really know our college friends and other relatives. So we might have them sit with us. 

    ETA for clarity.
    My daughter and her (now) husband did this as well.  They did not want a traditional sweetheart table, but knew they did not want a head table either.  In playing with seating arrangements, it simply worked out that the MOH and BM, along with their SO's, joined the bride and groom at a small table.
    tigerlily6
  • Yup I did the same thing as most PPs. Sweetheart table with WP members at tables that made sense (with either friends or family) and I worked out great. Also, I loved having a sweetheart table. H and I were so busy greeting people, mingling, whatever that we hardly saw each other during most of the reception so it was really nice to have dinner just the two of us.
  • I agree with everything PPs have said.  I think a head table was supposed to be a way to further "honor" your WP and show their "status," but honestly everyone knows who they are b/c they stood next to you at the ceremony, and they have no jobs to perform at the reception so it's not like you need them close at hand for anything.  We had a sweetheart table, and although we only sat for like 5 minutes, it was a great place to throw all our stuff throughout the night without getting it mixed up with other guests' drinks, cameras, etc.  Our WP (1 MOH and 1 BM) sat with people they knew.  
    Also wanted to add, our sweetheart table wasn't exactly front and center, it was off to one side at the end of the tables, so it didn't feel like anyone was staring at us eating, either!  
    thisismynickname2
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Another vote for letting the WP sit as guests. At DD wedding my sons sat with similar age cousins. DD and SIL friends who were in the WP sat with which ever group they fit in with: college, high school, graduate school friends. It worked out very well. DD and SIL sat at the traditional sweetheart table. Each set of parents picked who would sit at their table.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    We had a sweetheart table and just let our WP sit among the guests.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    H and I sat with my parents, his parents, and my sister, her H and their daughter.  For our wedding party, we just looked at them like any other guest and sat them at tables with people that they knew/are friends with.

  • We also just sat our wedding party with the other guests at the appropriate tables (family with family, friends with friends). It worked out great. We had our parents' tables closest to us then work then friends but it really didn't matter since we didn't sit at our table for much more than 10-15 minutes the whole night, then we were up doing table visits and dancing.

    I really liked having just a couple of moments with just my new husband to eat and talk after not seeing each other all day.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • It's amazing to hear so many people have seated their receptions this way with the WP seated regularly with other guests. It is just something I have never seen or heard of outside of TK. Thank you all for sharing! I really like this idea, and think I'm going to copy it!
                        


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    OliveOilsMomHeffalumpthisismynickname2[Deleted User]
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    We did as PP did also.  We had more BM than GM as well.  The GM all ended up at the same table because that fit with H's other guests.  The BMs ended up being spread out at 3 different tables.  Even though my BMs have know each other for years, that was only because of me, so I made sure to sit them with people they knew better and would have more fun with.

    And since your MOH & BM may not know anyone else that well, I think it would be good for you to have a regular round table and sit with your MOH & BM and their SOs.  The rest of the BP can be spread around the room.

  • It's amazing to hear so many people have seated their receptions this way with the WP seated regularly with other guests. It is just something I have never seen or heard of outside of TK. Thank you all for sharing! I really like this idea, and think I'm going to copy it!
    I posted this on another recent thread, but that's how we handled it, too, and it worked out really well.  Good luck.
  • The other thing you could consider is a King's Table, which would be in the centre of the room, with your other guest tables around you.

    You can either include all of your WP +SOs/dates with you (without having them on one side vs. another), or sit with your family and seat the WP with groups of friends or family. 
    kimmiinthemitten
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    AddieCake said:
    We had a sweetheart table and just let our WP sit among the guests.
    This is what we did as well.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    SP29 said:

    The other thing you could consider is a King's Table, which would be in the centre of the room, with your other guest tables around you.

    You can either include all of your WP +SOs/dates with you (without having them on one side vs. another), or sit with your family and seat the WP with groups of friends or family. 

    I asked two of my BM if they'd prefer a Kings table or being sat where they would normally be sat, and both said as long as they weren't separated from their SO's they're fine with either so we're also doing the Kings table in the center of the room. FI was very against a sweetheart table. His thought was why invite 200 people to dinner just to sit by yourself?
    image
  • I agree sitting by yourself seems a bit weird, at least for us -- it might be different if we saw our guests more regularly, but many of them live far away and both FI and I are so excited to see everybody. I am not sure our venue has a table available that big enough for a full "Head Table" -- I think the biggest table they have holds 8 people. I'm going to double check to make sure, though. But I like the idea of seating some of our guests/ WP members with us who may not have good connections with other guests, and otherwise letting bridesmaids and groomsmen sit with their SOs at tables with family and/or friends. 
                        


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  • I didn't like either the head table or the sweetheart table idea. Our wedding party was small (just a maid of honor and best man), so we sat at a round table in the center of the room with them and their SO's.
    image
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