Who Sits at the Head Table at a Reception?

The most boring part of your wedding planning is the seating arrangement, especially the head table. It’s not only bland but extremely tricky. You cannot even think of infuriating any of the wedding guests. Whether it’s your family or your significant other’s?  Family comes first. 

Everyone wants to sit with the bride and groom, close friends, in-laws, best man, parents, etc. But planning a seating arrangement for the head table without displeasing anyone is no child’s play! Here the question arises, what actually is a head table?

What is the Head Table?

who sits head table at wedding reception

 A head table is a long rectangular table at every wedding reception. The bride and groom sit in the middle of the table, and their friends, family, best man, and maid of honor sit on either side. It’s designed so that the view of the whole room is visible and can be seen from the middle of the table. 

So everyone in the room can have a look at the married couple. The couple gets to decide who sits on the head table. As this table is the heart of the reception hall, it is named Table #1.

Who Usually Sits at the Head Table?

who sits head table at wedding reception

A wedding head table is a special table where the bride, groom, and the closest people can sit. Let’s explore the basic four options you can use for sitting on a head table.

  1. Bride And Groom Only:

A table for two, just the bride and groom, is usually referred to as a “sweetheart table .” The couple could cozy up at this table and enjoy everyone cheering and dancing for their love.

  1. The couple with the bridesmaid and best man: 

That calls for a table of four, You, your spouse, your maid of honor, and your best man. You can chuckle, share a joke and enjoy dinner while chatting about your big day. You can call it for a bigger table with their spouses/ partners too.

  1. Couple And The Whole Gang:

Now that calls for a big table, where the couple would sit with their best friends, maid of honors, and best men. This table would be the busiest and loudest as all the friends could joke and celebrate your day. You can also invite the ring bearers (kids) to sit at the same table if they want to.

  1. A Family Feast:

That would be the longest and noisiest table. The groom and the bride with their parents and siblings. Isn’t it just perfect? Your intimate family together on your beautiful day. A family with inside jokes, fun, love, and prayers. 

Seating Arrangement Guide

who sits head table at wedding reception

Let’s go through the following seating arrangements to let your wedding event run smoothly.

  1. Select Tables:

Most importantly, select the shapes of the tables. There are four shapes of a table i-e oval, square, rectangle, and round. Every table has a specific capacity for guests. The rectangular table will accommodate many people and is ideal for a wedding reception. However, the round table gives your guests more legroom. 

  1. Keep Your Friends Adjacent :

The best way to honor your friends is to keep them close to your table. How about setting the table for your friends, maids of honor, best men, and their significant others/dates? Your friends should be placed on the third-best table. The first table is a sweetheart table for you, the second for parents, and the third table should be for friends.

  1. Parents and Friends:

Keep your parent’s table close to yours and let all the intimate family sit together, like siblings and their partners. If you are thinking of inviting one of your parent’s friends, arrange for them to sit with your parents. This way, nobody would feel lonely and enjoy your big day’s festivities.

  1. Group your guests:

While making arrangements for your guests, always remember to sort them into groups, like your parent’s friends and relatives on a closer table, and your friend and bridal party at another. Your coworkers sit at the same table. This way, all the guests can talk to each other without feeling lonely or bored.

  1. Kids table:

Arrange a special table for all the kids, from your family or friends. And while arranging the table remember to put different crafts and activities for kids. Please don’t put the kid’s table far from their parents as children and parents worry when they can’t see each other.

  1. Look out for your single friends:

If any of your guests are single, avoid making them sit at a table of married couples. Well, this might be the best opportunity for you to fix your single friend with your favorite cousin or coworker. How about arranging the tables so all single guests can sit together and get to know each other? Who knows, you might play a cupid for one of them?

  1. Seating arrangement Chart :

Wedding Wire is one of the most amazing websites as it offers an online seating plan. The best thing about this seating plan is you can even drag and drop seats to plan a proper seating arrangement at your reception. You can customize the table options and introduce a bar or band to see how it’ll work in the future.


who sits head table at wedding reception

The bride and groom choose who gets to sit at the head table with them. It’s not an easy job;  20% of the engaged couples thought that making guests’ seating arrangements was the most difficult job at a wedding. We hope our guide has helped you choose the right seating arrangement in deciding who gets to sit with you at the head table. Tell us more about your seating plan, Happy Planning!

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