Wedding Seating: 5 Options for Your Head Table
When it comes to wedding seating, couples tend to stress the most over their guest seating. But many forget the various options for their own bridal party seating. Now, we don’t mean to stress you out with more options; we just want couples to have a good understanding for what will work the best for their type of wedding.
Below, we’ve broken down some of the various bridal party seating arrangements with pros and cons. Which one do you think will work the best for your wedding?
The Traditional Head Table
(Photo: Jeff Frandsen)
PROS: With this design, every person in your bridal party is facing out, with no one directly across from them. This wedding seating design makes it easier for the photographer to take photographs of your bridal party, and it also gives your bridal party a clear view of the dance floor, usually.
CONS: We would not recommend this style if you have a large bridal party. The reason is partially design related and also cost related; with this type of wedding seating arrangement, you really only utilize half of the table. An eight foot long table can normally seat eight, but since you are only using one side, you really only have four seats per table. Linens, decorations, centerpieces, and the like will be more expensive. If you have a bridal party that is 16 people, you’ll need (four) eight foot tables, which can complicate the layout depending on the room.
The Family Style
(Photo: Sparrow and Lace)
PROS: With this wedding seating arrangement, it’s all in the family (and sometimes friends!). Sometimes the couple wants to let the bridal party sit with their dates or families so the couple decide they’d like to sit with their family. If the guest tables are round, then typically this table is too. This type of layout is ideal, too, if you’d like to incorporate family who aren’t necessarily in the wedding into your head table. The bride and groom would sit on the side that faces the rest of the guests and then their family, or friends, would sit in the other seats around them.
CONS: While you are maximizing table space with this design, it does mean someone will have their back to the action. Usually the head table faces the dance area, so some of your family and friends will have to turn a 180 degree pivot to see the dance floor, toasts, etc. It also makes it harder for the photographer to get photos of you during the dinner time or while toasts are happening.
The Sweetheart Table
(Photo: Lauren Fair Photography)
PROS: This wedding seating arrangement is perfect for the couple who wants to be able to focus on themselves for dinner. You won’t be able to prevent people from walking up to your table, but you will be able to enjoy dinner mostly just the two of you. It gives you a little bit of “alone” time (well as alone as you can be with 150 people watching you!). This design will also save you on linens if you have a super big bridal party because you won’t be doing an extra-long head table.
CONS: This wedding seating arrangement is not for the spotlight-shy bride or groom. With the sweetheart table, you are the center of attention the entire evening. People will still continually come up to talk with you, even when you are eating.
The Combo Sweetheart + Head Table
PROS: Welcome to the best of both worlds! If you still want to sit just with your sweetheart but want your bridal party close at hand, this wedding seating setup is the one for you. This design is visually appealing as well. If you have a smaller bridal party, you can angle the tables out off of the sweetheart table for added flair. Often the couple is at a small round sweetheart table and then there is either a round table on each side or a rectangular table on each side of them for the bridal party (and sometimes their dates).
CONS: This design is still unfortunately not the best if you’d like to have a large bridal party, unless you seat the bridal party on both sides of the tables, like a family style setup.
The King Arthur Table
(Photo: Lisa Hornak Photography)
PROS: Get a unique look with this wedding seating arrangement for your bridal party! If you’re looking for a statement focal point, the King Arthur is a good fit for you; this layout typically consists of four 8 foot tables put together to form a larger rectangular table 16 feet long and 5 feet wide. With this type of setup, you can seat up to 20 guests. This wedding seating arrangement is perfect for your bridal party if you’d like to serve your meal family style since it will give your caterers more table surface to work with!
CONS: While this layout is ideal for certain situations, it will increase the number of linens you will need. For example, an 8 foot table can usually seat 8 people, but when you take 2 of them and butt them together to create the King Arthur design, you can only seat 12. If the linen cost is already high for you, this may not be the best arrangement for you.
Wedding seating for your bridal party and immediate family can get tricky. Here are some other things to keep in mind:
- Does your bridal party have spouses? If so, where will they sit? What if they have kids?
- Where will you seat parents or very important family and friends?
- Where will the kids sit if there will be children at your wedding?
Our team at Stylish Occasions can help you with any floor plan arrangement so you don’t have to stress! Get in touch with us today!