Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Head Table

Ok so here's my problem. I was always under the impression that the head table was the bride, groom, best man, maid of honor and both sets of parents. Well My fiance's parent don't get alond let alone speak to eachother, all communication is done through his grandmothers. Anyway back to my problem, If i put his parents at the same table they will murder eachother. I was thinking to just do my weddign party at the head table. any advise would be loved.

Re: Head Table

  • I've always seen just the wedding party at the head table or a sweetheart table.  I've never seen what you've mentioned.  You should definitely do wedding party only. 
  • ExpatPumpkinExpatPumpkin member
    1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2009
    Don't do a head table.  Have a sweetheart table instead - just the two of you.  Each of your parents can host their own tables.  Your bridal party should be split up into tables with their friends...  And it goes without saying that they should not be separated from their dates.

    Everyone will be happy if they get to sit with "their people."  There's no need to seat the bridal party away from the rest of the guests.  After all, once the ceremony is over their duties are over - it's time for them to relax and enjoy the night like everyone else.

    We did this at our wedding and it couldn't possibly have worked out better ;)  Good luck!
  • The head table is whatever you make it.  Sometimes it's just the bride and groom, sometimes it's the bride, groom, and their parents, and sometimes it's the bride, groom, and wedding party.  Do what works best for you.  If his parents don't get along, don't make them sit together.  They can host their own tables and you and your FI can either sit alone or with your MOH and her date and Best Man and his date, or whatever works out for you.
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  • I also vote against the head table. We're having a sweetheart table, and seating our wedding party with their SO's and their friends so they're most comfortable. Our parents will also host their own tables with their families and closest friends right next to our table. This way no one is on display and only talking to the person on either side of them, and everyone can sit with their SO's and friends and enjoy the entire evening.

    I've been in weddings where I sat at a head table and it was awful. I was at the end, so there was only one person next to me and I had no one to really talk to. Plus my friends and family were all at other tables having a great time because they were all sitting together. Because of this I always vote against head tables and think the wedding party should be sitting with their SO's and friends.
  • Don't do a head table.  Problem solved.

    Or if you do one, you don't have to include parents.  They can host their tables of their family and/or friend.  Just make sure that you include the dates of the WP at the head table, if you decide to go with one.
  • I have never seen a head table with parents, just BP.  Either do just your bridal party or a sweetheart. We're doing a head table, and even though our parents all get along, they will be at different tables. His parents & grannies at one, my parents, brother & SIL & kids at one etc.
    Crosswalk
  • Do the sweetheart table. Let everybody sit with people they feel comfortable sitting with.

    Problem solved.

    If you fire a WP member, you're against America.
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    "Meg cracks me up on the regular. Now she gets to do it in two different forums. Yay!!" ~mkrupar
  • Another vote for sweetheart table, with parents hosting their own tables.  Both of my married kids had sweetheart tables, and they and their spouses relished the couple of minutes of more private time than a head table afforded.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • I only saw a "traditional head table" at one wedding, and that only included the wedding party. The parents can sit at another table with their own guests - the grandparents, aunts & uncles, their own friends, etc. Whoever they're comfortable sitting with.

    So seat your FMIL at a table with her friends/family, and your FFIL at another table with people he'd be happy sitting with. Problem solved.

    At every wedding I've attended other than that one (and that was in the early 90s, with puffed-sleeve shiny teal BM dresses), the bride and groom sat at a sweetheart table by themselvs, and their wedding party members were seated elsewhere with their dates.

    Our reception tables seat 10, and we have 4 total wedding party members. So if everyone brings a date, we can all fit at one table. We like this option because we're not nuts about the idea of being alone.
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  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_head-table?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:d26678de-cf20-4725-8912-df1ed953b25cPost:bee979ca-e680-4174-bdea-3affebc1f5db">Re: Head Table</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't understand all the hate for the head table. You're only there for 30 minutes while you eat. Posted by sarges05girl[/QUOTE]

    Generally, a head table means WP is separated for their dates.  It is rude to seat guests separate from their dates, even for only 30 minutes.  That's why people have such a problem with them.

    The point of seating your guests is to make sure everyone has a seat where <em>they'll</em> be comfortable and to keep things organized and moving smoothly, not to put them where you want them.
  • You're not only sitting at the head table for 30 minutes, especially if you're having a sit down plated dinner. There are a few courses to get through, speeches, cake cutting, etc...
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_head-table?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:d26678de-cf20-4725-8912-df1ed953b25cPost:e623919f-746c-4c5a-bb62-c91455dd1549">Re: Head Table</a>:
    [QUOTE]You're not only sitting at the head table for 30 minutes, especially if you're having a sit down plated dinner. There are a few courses to get through, speeches, cake cutting, etc...
    Posted by SuMmErKuTiE[/QUOTE]

    OK, I understand the date separation if you are having a five course meal (cake cutting included), because that will take almost and hour and a half. But you're still not confined to the head table. You're allowed to get up and mingle during dinner. Most brides and grooms do, and it would be totally hypocritical for the B&G to wander around and not allow their bridal party.

    We had a family style meal, and it only took about 30-45 minutes tops including speeches and grace. We did our cake cutting right before we did our first dance, so it didn't cut into dinner/dancing time. My WP had no problem being separated from their dates. And when I was in my BFF's wedding, I was separated from my date at the head table. It's no big deal. If you can't hold a conversation with the person next to you for an hour, you've got more things to be worried about than where to sit.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_head-table?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:d26678de-cf20-4725-8912-df1ed953b25cPost:68574a76-bae2-47b9-a036-f852875090d2">Re: Head Table</a>:
    [QUOTE]  And it goes without saying that they should not be separated from their dates. Everyone will be happy if they get to sit with "their people." 
    Posted by ExpatPumpkin[/QUOTE]

    I hear/see this A LOT on these boards, and I think that sometimes people assume that traditions in their area of the country/world apply everywhere.  I have NEVER been to a wedding where the head table was not just the WP and not their dates.  Yes, it is true that their duties of being in the ceremony is finished and they should be allowed to enjoy themselves with "their people," but didn't you choose these people to be in your WP because they are friends and loved ones?  Don't you think that they will enjoy having dinner with you and the WP? 

    Also, the head table doesn't have to be a long table putting all of the WP on display and allowing people to only talk to who is next to them.  Make the head table a regular table, where all of you can talk together without feeling like everyone is watching you eat.  Our reception location even has what they call a harvest table which will accomodate my whole WP, as it is too large to fit at a regular table.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    It's also rude to their dates.  Yes, your WP may be fine to sit with you and talk, but their dates often don't know anyone.  You can't possibly know what's going on in their head, and most won't say a word to you about how uncomfortable they are.  Your wedding should not be something that people have to put up with or get through.  It should be something they enjoy, even your WP dates.

    I'm so glad that head tables are going out of fashion all over the US.  Of course the south and the midwest are usually the last to do anything, but they're getting there.  I'm so glad to see these rude inventions are going the way of puffy sleeved gowns. 

  • We're doing a head table...but no one in our wedding party is seeing anyone or married...otherwise we would have to re-think the idea or have them sit at the head table.  I wouldn't want to be separated from my date. 

    It does depend on what part of the country you are in...I haven't been to a wedding where there wasn't a head table.  Just be creative with whatever you do and make sure your guests are comfortable. :)
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  • Our head table will include

    Bride, Groom, MOH (and her husband), Best man (and his girlfriend) - a total of 6 people

    that way we arent breaking up dates, but we arent completely secluded from everyone else. I think the sweathearts table are sweet but it makes the bride and groom seem a little unapproachable to me *totally just my opinion on that* i like the idea of being surrounding by our MOH and BM but not splitting them up from their significant others..fun for everyone!!
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