Do I Need a Head Table at a Wedding?

Over the last several decades, our perceptions of weddings have changed drastically. Many couples are itching to ditch tired old traditions to shake things up in ways that they want. This includes leaving many things at the reception door, including the head table.

Like every other component of a wedding, you don’t actually need a head table if you don’t want one. There’s no list of official wedding reception rules, after all! In fact, if you have a wedding with under 50 guests, a large feasting table may be the better choice.

Others opt for a sweetheart table, an intimate seating arrangement where the married couple split the dining space. This is another potential option if you’re seeking privacy during your reception.

That said, there are plenty of perks for including one at your wedding. We’ll delve into what those are so you’re able to pick what’s best for your special day, so keep reading below!

do you need head table at wedding
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The Pros and Cons of a Head Table

  • You’ll Be Surrounded by Love

What makes your wedding day so special is the rare opportunity you and your fiance will have to be surrounded by all your friends and family. Many of the loved ones in your life may live far away from you at this point. Having everyone in the same place in terms of venue and seating is a chance to spend as much time as possible together.

  • Honor Your Wedding Party

For many members of the wedding party, a head table is preferable to be sequestered away from the newlyweds. Having your wedding party seated among you is a chance to honor the time and energy they have given you in preparation for the big day.

What’s even better is if your head table has space for your wedding party’s dates. That way, you can avoid the awkwardness of splitting pairs up!

  • Save on Space

Seating your wedding party in one space saves on tables in your reception venue.

  • Guest Limitations

If there isn’t enough room for your wedding party’s plus-one at the head table, then they will have to sit with the rest of the guests, many of them strangers. While this is an opportunity for someone to mingle with new people, it can lead to potential discomfort if the table is unfriendly.

  • Separation

Some dislike the traditional head table setup due to the separation of the wedding party from the rest of the wedding guests. Sitting away from everything else might make socializing harder for others during the reception.

  • Lack of Alone Time for the Married Couple

Let’s be real––even though your wedding is your and your fiance’s day, you will still be tugged in a hundred directions by your guests.

A head table makes it harder for you to have one-on-one time with your significant other. Even among a smaller group, your wedding party will still be vying for your attention.

do you need head table at wedding
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Sweetheart Table vs. Head Table

After the craziness of the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour, taking time to breathe during dinner can be a much-needed break. Enter the sweetheart table: a private table for two, just for you and your partner.

This intimate table setting allows for the rare alone time you will have with your fiance on your wedding day. It is an oasis for a quiet dinner away from the direct contact of your wedding party and other guests. A wedding is after all the joining of a couple and the subsequent celebration of it, and the chance to relish in this is something many couples crave.

What’s more is that a sweetheart table encourages you to get up and move around the reception, conversing with all your guests. This placement helps you from falling into the trap of only socializing with your immediate friends.

If you’re worried that you might be playing favorites by having a head table, then a sweetheart table will help you avoid this altogether. By having a cloistered space for two, you can avoid the potential for any hurt feelings.

do you need head table at wedding
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Your wedding day should be planned around meeting your and your fiance’s needs and wants. Incorporating traditions like head tables comes down to a person’s taste, so the question you should ask yourself is deciding on one that meets your tastes.

There are pros and cons to a head table. While they save on space and offer the chance to spend time with your wedding party, others might find them exclusionary for your guests and opt for a sweetheart table instead.

In the end, it’s your choice! Research and weigh the pros and cons of table arrangements, and you will find what you want. Whichever you pick will be the best for you, and that’s what matters the most on your wedding day!

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