Who Sits at the Head Table During the Wedding Reception?

Etiquette
head table seating

Photo: Jose Villa

If you've decided to have a head table at your wedding reception, consult our simple seating guide to figure out who sits where!

Who sits at the head table?

Many couples decide to skip the "sweetheart" table (a small table set up for just the bride and groom at the reception) in favor of a long rectangular head table or round table at the focal point of the room. Other couples choose to have no head table at all and sit with family members instead. No matter which configuration you choose, the bride and groom should still face the room and their table is usually set apart from the others by some type of special decoration, such as flowers (sometimes incorporating the bride's and bridesmaids' bouquets placed in simple vases) or personalized signs hung on the bride's and groom's chairs.

At the head table, the bride traditionally sits at the groom's right, with the maid of honor on his left and the best man on the bride's right. The rest of the party follows suit in an alternating male/female pattern. You may include child attendants at the head table, too, but if they are young, they may feel more comfortable seated with their parents. Back in the day, spouses and significant others were relegated to different tables, but this tradition is now generally ignored. If you can only fit the best man and maid of honor along with their significant others at your table, then seat remaining attendants and their "plus ones" at another table.

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