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St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | Overheard At Your Wedding “I Hate the Head Table”
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Overheard At Your Wedding “I Hate the Head Table”



It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your head table or wedding is, as seen above, you risk isolating many of your guests and close friends by obligating them to a head table.  I am so happy when I see couples opt out of the antiquated tradition, and look to sweetheart tables instead.  At a recent wedding,  I was pulled aside by a guest who asked to speak with me about the seating arrangements.  The first words out of her mouth were, “I hate the head table”.  As we talked more, I learned that she was the fiancée of one of the groomsmen, and she was seated at a table far from him with a group of gentleman that she didn’t know. “It was so uncomfortable”, she said.  “They all knew each other, but I knew no one there”.  Her fiancé later joined the conversation and agreed that he, too, felt bad that she was alone and he couldn’t be with her.  I was given specific instructions to tell all my brides to “ditch the head table”. 

No one likes to fee that way—isolated, uncomfortable and far from those that you have a connection with or know.  This is what you risk doing with a head table, as well as a “bridesmaids’/groomsmen’s” table.  Your bridal party will have been together all day with getting dressed, as well as extended pictures before and after the ceremony.  Is there really need to have them away from their significant others an additional hour during dinner?

Of course, ultimately my suggestion would be to avoid the head table altogether and have a gorgeous sweetheart table that you can embellish and adorn for you and your new Mr.  Just like your bridal party needs this time to “come down” and reunite with their wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends and children—you will need this time, too.  The rest of your evening, albeit fun, will be filled with structure and activities.  Having a semi-intimate dinner with your new spouse will allow you a private moment to take it all in and slow down to get a bite to eat.

If you are absolutely dead-set on having a head table, then you need to include the significant others of the bridal party at the table. This, in turn will make your head table larger and possibly distort your optimal design for your reception.  You could opt for separate bridesmaids?? and groomsmen’s tables, but again—be sure to include their significant others. 


Remember, your wedding is a celebration of your day, but should not be a sore note for your guests and bridal party.


Photo :: Michael Steighner

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  • I agree! For such a celebration, the long, at front headtable really doesn’t allow for everyone to celebrate. One wedding we did a compromise, we had two head tables, side-by-side… the bride and groom really wanted to enjoy dinner with the wedding party, but they understood the significant others situation. We had one table for the wedding party, and the other for the “better half” for significant others. It was a real crowd pleaser for both sides.

    August 18, 2009 at 1:28 pm
  • Great post. I also hate the head table. Interestingly, very few gay couples choose to have a head table, or if they do it’s the same table shape and size as their guests. 95% of my gay clients have a sweetheart table.

    August 18, 2009 at 3:19 pm
  • This is an awesome post, thanks for writing. I didn’t want to do the head table because I have been that girl at the table of strangers while my fiance was at the head table. So awkward. For our wedding, it had a normal table next to the dance floor with the best man, maid of honor and her boyfriend and a few other bridesmaids/groomsmen that didnt fit in at another table. the others had family or friends to sit with so it worked out nicely!

    August 25, 2009 at 3:23 pm

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