A bride stresses about every little thing concerning the details of her wedding. For the most part, guests don’t notice how many candles you lined on each table or how many chrysanthemum arrangements you settled on for the guestbook table, but they do notice some other things that you may not have spent so much time thinking about; they care if they get to see you on your wedding day.
Often, the way you arrange your seating will dictate how approachable you make yourself and how easy it will be to make rounds to greet your eager guests. I went to a wedding where the bride chose to sit at a head table (An option where the bridal party sits facing the room in a row), but she put it on a platform that rose above the rest of us. The band leader called us up by table to congratulate the couple and bridal party on the stage – I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to hug them or bow to them.
Here are some pros and cons of a few seating options you have on your wedding day. No matter what you choose, try to greet your guests personally during your reception. It’s one of the only things (besides the food and booze) that they really look forward to during your reception, and it’s your chance to thank them for their attendance during the ceremony.
1. The Sweetheart Table
This option allows you and your sweetheart your own table, usually small and located at the head of the room.
Your wedding day will be stressful and hectic and full of talking. The sweetheart table gives you some alone time with your new spouse so you can wine and dine in peace (at least for a few minutes). This option is also nice for your bridal party, who can now be seated with their friends, family, and significant others throughout the rest of the room.
It’s easy to get carried away and remain seated at this table all night. It may be difficult for less assertive guests to approach your table to greet you, especially since the sweetheart table tends to be in the center of attention. If you choose this option, make sure to get up and mingle.
2. The Head Table
This option allows you to sit with your bridal party (and your new spouse) in a long table at the head of the room. The people at this table sit on one side, facing the guests.
You chose your bridal party for a reason – these people are special to you and you want to hang out with them. Why wouldn’t you want to sit with them too? This setup also makes it easy for guests to come up and greet you, as it isn’t quite as lonely as the sweetheart table.
This is honestly my least favorite of the table options. By having your bridal party sit with you, you’re keeping them from other loved ones that they might want to sit with (including spouses, siblings, children). The line of people also means that you have to lean way over to talk to someone three chairs away from you, and no one likes a wedding gown covered in marinera.
3. Sitting Among the Masses
You and your spouse sit at a table like everyone else – maybe with your parents, maybe with your friends – there’s no tradition to dictate what you should do.
This is a good option if you aren’t big on being the center of attention. By sitting at a regular table like the rest of your guests, you can become part of the party instead of the focus of it. This option gives you time to relax and chat and eat without worrying yourself over bridal duties (and mingling doesn’t become so much of a task).
Someone will always wonder why you didn’t sit with them. A creative way to fix this is to reserve two chairs at every table in the room and make time to sit and eat with them. This might be hard to pull off at a wedding with more than a dozen tables, but the intimacy of having even a small amount of time to eat and talk with all of your guests will make them feel that they got to experience your day WITH you.