Here at ternevents we spend lots of time guiding and advising our brides and grooms and one of the questions we are frequently asked is who to seat at the top table.
Traditionally the top table would always be long, with the bridal party (couple, both sets of parents, chief bridesmaid and Best Man) seated one side looking out at the roomful of guests, however these days couples choose lots of different options for a number of different reasons.
Sometimes this configuration doesn’t work because one or more parents are not attending the wedding, or one or both have remarried which could potentially make for an extremely long table and potentially some ill feeling.
In such cases, I would suggest round, rather than banquet style tables. This allows the ‘top’ table to be in the centre of the room; here you might seat yourselves, any children you have, perhaps chief bridesmaid and best man and their other halves or siblings or whoever you choose.
Each parent can then host a table themselves, thus enabling them to sit with who they wish, with no parent table being any more ‘important’ than another in terms of location.
Sometimes couples prefer to sit by themselves on a smaller table, in some cases elevated a little above the guests’ tables so they can see everyone and be seen: this is known as a sweetheart table.
Lastly, for those having a more informal wedding breakfast, some couples choose not to have a top table or indeed a seating plan at all: they might even have a more laid back, picnic style meal with guests sitting wherever they like and moving about if they wish.
Photo Credits: Mark Wallis AHP Photography
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